Cloaca. Robin Williams' favorite word and a condition in a baby girl that requires a very complex pediatric colorectal surgery. In short, normally a baby girl is born with three holes - an anus, a vagina and a urethra. However, when a baby girl is born with one hole that does all three functions, this is called a cloaca. In the surgery to repair it, the rectum, vagina and bladder are separated and new holes are created to allow bowel, sexual and urinary activities to function
The word "infectious" is normally not something positive in a hospital environment. However, the good will and deep respect CTO members feel for one another and for our mission has spread...and no one is immune. After several missions all over the world together they know each other's humor and rhythms well and it is palpable. "Surgery is like a dance," said Dr. Cecille Muller, one of CTO's French surgeons. "And I dance well with Dr. Ivo deBlaauw." Dr. Muller and Dr. deBlaauw
The waiting room was a mix of excitement and nerves. Some of these 24 families have been waiting anxiously for more than a year for us to arrive. And some have been blessed with excellent timing - there are three newborns who will be operated on, one born just yesterday. The CTO surgeons examined and diagnosed each patient and came up with the surgical schedule for next week. Director of Patient Relations Eva Levitt (pictured) helped to bring on the smiles and lighten things
In three days, CTO members from all over the world will convene at Hospital Nacional de Niños in San Jose, Costa Rica. The pediatric surgical mission will be led by Dr. Marc Levitt and his team from Nationwide Children's Hospital along with Mending Kids and CTO. Check in here for daily updates on the mission. We're looking forward to it...