"Makwera said far more than “thank you” as he chatted with Vecchione and Dr. James Chao, the reconstructive and plastic surgeon who crafted his new jaw from a harvested piece of his left fibula. He described his desire to become a mechanical engineer, his newfound love of running, his temporary home in Boise, Idaho, and his phone conversations with loved ones back on the family farm in Zimbabwe."
Operation of Hope & Blessing are featured on CBS "The Doctors" TV Show, Wednesday, January 7th! Mark your calendars for this amazing story of Blessing Makwera from Zimbabwe, Africa as he shares his inspirational tale of receiving his handsome new face on CBS "The Doctors" TV Show, January 7th. In March 2013, Blessing left Zimbabwe to travel to San Diego to begin his treatment. His surgical team included Dr. Joel Berger, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon; and Drs. Thomas Vecchione and James Chao, plastic surgeons.
Jonathan is receiving his 3rd Fresh Start surgery at our upcoming Surgery Weekend on July 13th & 14th. Jonathan is just two years old and was born with Apert Syndrome as well as other medical issues and deformities. Apert Syndrome causes craniofacial abnormalities characterized by an abnormal head shape, small upper jaw, a high-arched palate, and fusion of the fingers and toes.
We had an amazing Surgery Weekend on May 3rd and 4th – in total, 10 kids & teens received reconstructive surgery on Saturday, and we saw over 30 additional kids & teens on Sunday for laser treatments, speech therapy, consultations, and other appointments. All of our surgeries were successful and only 2 patients required overnight care and hospitalization – both of those patients are now back with their families and on their way to great recoveries.
Luis is receiving his second Fresh Start surgery at our upcoming Surgery Weekend on July 13 & 14. Luis was born with a rare condition called Ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia-clefting syndrome, or EEC, which caused a variety of deformities for Luis including cleft lip and palate, contracted and fused fingers, speech deficits, and other physical anomalies.
Over the span of just two days, March 17th & 18th, Fresh Start’s dedicated volunteers provided healthcare services to over 50 kids including reconstructive surgeries, laser treatments, speech therapy, consultations, and much more. We treated children from Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, and of course many children from our local community of San Diego.