Wednesday, June 9, 2010

HOPE Volunteers Care For Toddler Onboard USNS Mercy

Some of the children of the greater Quy Nhon region of Vietnam have the good fortune to benefit from surgery onboard the USNS Mercy during its Pacific Partnership 2010 mission. Among the first to be helped was the cheerful two-year-old Phuong Hoang, who had a unilateral cleft palate fistula in need of repair. She was accompanied not only by her grandmother but also by her enthusiastic dad, and seemingly ever-present translator always wearing his yellow shirt.

Preparing her for surgery by—among other things-- blowing bubbles for relaxation was Abigail Chua, a Project HOPE volunteer nursing student from University of San Diego, California.
Four-time Project HOPE volunteer nurse Peggy Walsh Goebel, was catching the bubbles and overseeing the young child's nursing care.

When her post-operative care was completed, Phuong Hoang was taken back to land in one of Mercy’s Bandaid boats. Now at four days post-surgery, her father reports she is doing very well. He was especially pleased that the doctors put tubes in her ears so that she could hear better. As a result she now speaks more clearly too and when she calls him dad, he says, it really sounds like dad.

Thanks for reading - Mary Hamill

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