Maria Francis Returns

Maria Francis is one example. In 2017 Dr. Les Mohler, plastic surgeon from Columbus, Ohio, repaired the cleft lip of then eleven-year-old Maria Francis in 2017. CAMO knew this family of six only made eleven cents a day and would have to sacrifice food for the rest of their family, already suffering from signs of malnutrition, to make it possible for Maria Francis to travel for medical care.

Knowing this, we contacted them through the nurse who does vaccinations in this area to ask if they would like palate repair surgery for Maria Francis. They said yes, and we dispatched our drivers for an incredible sixteen-hour return journey on rugged dirt roads so that Maria Frances, now close to her thirteenth birthday, could have her final surgery to fix her palate and have a chance to speak more clearly. Since Maria Francis is so shy, and her mother equally so, we gave them housing in the women’s shelter before and after the surgery.

Dr. Greg Pearson, also from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, alongside his counterpart and the USA team of Nancy Liken, Deb Miller, Dr. Anabis Vera Gonzales, Viviana Vera, and their counterparts, performed the surgery on Tuesday of Week 1. It was a success. Due to her physical condition and distance from home, we kept Maria Francis for ten days post-op to assure total recovery of the palate. Then we provided transportation back to their village with supporting nutritional supplements. By the end of the ten days, Maria Francis and her mother were both more nourished, smiling again and ready to be reunited with their family. To read more of her story please visit our webpage—CAMO in Focus for January and February.

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