MMFC and BMI Healthcare UK collaborated in 2011 to send an inaugural mission to Taal, Batangas, Philippines. The mission led by Dr. Robert Ward was a success on every level. The facilities at Taal Polymedic Hospital were excellent and the hospital support staff superb. During this five day 1 operatiing room mission, MMFC’s volunteer surgical team performed 19 cleft lip and palate surgeries. MMFC collaborated with a local dentist and paid for obturators to be made and fitted for an additional 6 patients who were not candidates for surgery.
As is the case on every mission, it is the children and their stories that inspire us all to continue this work. Beth Allan, RN, a PACU nurse from Stanford Hospital in California joined MMFC for the first time this past fall on both our China and Philippines missions. She has stayed in touch with a new friend Jean, a nurse at Taal Polymedic Hospital and they both have the following to happily report:
Jahneza Mae Endozo is a 5 year old girl from Sambal Ilaya, Lemery, Batangas. She had a cleft palate repair and a cleft lip revision. Her father is Jonamar Endozo a OFW (overseas Filipino worker) and her mother is Amelia Endozo, a house wife caring for her two girls. Jahneza is the eldest daughter. She is a very active girl and loves to do anything outdoors and active, but she tends to stay close to home playing with her sister and close cousins as other children tend to tease her because of her condition. She had stopped going to school for this very reason. Beth Allen, RN, recently heard from a nurse at Taal Polymedic Hospital that Jahneza is back to school, active & playing with many of her friends outside of school. She is even getting involved in a play at her church that will perform in front of the congregation.
John Kenneth Punzalan is a 3 year old boy residing in Sinipian, Sta. Theresita, Batangas. He is the youngest of the five children of Francisco and Mary Jane Punzalan. His father is an employee at a furniture manufacturer and his mother is a housewife. John Kenneth (or Kenneth as his siblings call him), is a very active and always happy young man. He is a little shy to others but not to his 4 siblings, who are very fond of him simply because he is the youngest. He is the only one in the family with a cleft lip/palate and his siblings are very protective of him because of it. MMFC repaired his cleft palate and his family is very grateful.
MMFC is very grateful to Dr. Pacifico (“Pico”) Tuason, Dr. Florianne (“Rhiza” )Valdez, Dr. Eric Tenorio, Dr. Jed Inciong, Paulyn and every member of the in-country Batangas A team.
MMFC is particularly grateful to Dr. John Pook and BMI Healthcare UK for sponsoring this mission. BMI is a premium private health care division with over 70 acute-care private patient hospitals and other facilities in the UK. BMI has a long history of philanthropic donations and MMFC is grateful to BMI for this most successful collaboration with them. Together BMI and MMFC were able to aid some of the most destitute children of the Philippines.