Our Surgery Weekend on September 15 & 16 was a huge success! In total, Fresh Start saw over 50 kids throughout the Weekend through the help and support of over 50 volunteers who made all of our amazing work possible. Here’s a breakdown of the Weekend:
- 11 infants, children, and teens received reconstructive surgery with 3 of these patients requiring overnight care at the hospital. Many of these cases were very extensive with some requiring teams of reconstructive surgeons and neurosurgeons.
- 6 patients received Speech Therapy on Sunday
- 7 patients received Laser Treatments for scar revision and to reduce the appearance of port wine stains and other birthmarks
- Over 30 additional patients attended the Fresh Start Clinic on Sunday for evaluations, consultations, follow-up exams, post-operative exams, and other appointments. Sunday was a very busy day at the Clinic, and we even had our first consultation via Skype, for a patient from Mexico who could not attend the Clinic but will be receiving treatment from us in the near-future.
Here are just a few of the patients whose lives were transformed during the September Surgery Weekend:
Katia was born with Goldenhar syndrome, a rare congenital defect which causes deformities of the face usually including microtia, or underdeveloped ears, and other facial deformities which usually only affect one side of the face. Although Katia became a Fresh Start patient in 2007 when she was just two years old, Fresh Start had to wait until she was a bit older, at 7, to receive her very first surgery for her condition. At this Surgery Weekend, Katia received microtia 1 surgery, the first surgery in a sequence of surgeries she will need to repair her underdeveloped ear. Katia will receive additional surgeries for her ear in the near-future, but she will not receive extensive surgery on her jaw until she is older. Katia is just beginning her long journey to a healthy and happy future and we are excited to be by her side every step along the way!
This was Jesely’s fourth surgery with Fresh Start since she first became a patient with us just a little over one year ago. Jesely was also born with Goldenhar syndrome, but it affected her eyes much more severely. At this Surgery Weekend, Jesely received further reconstructive surgery on her eye by volunteer surgeon Dr. Morton. In total, Jesely has received over $60,000 in donated medical care from Fresh Start’s volunteer medical professionals and she has already transformed dramatically! On Septemer 8th, Jesely was treated to a back to school mini-makeover at Shampoo Too in Solana Beach where she received a make-up tutorial and a new hairdo!
This was Kassy’s second reconstructive surgery from Fresh Start at just three years old. Kassy was born with a congenital hairy nevus, or large birthmark, on her arm. At this Surgery Weekend, volunteer surgeon Dr. Pacella continued to excise the nevus, which, because it is very deep, will require many additional surgeries to remove. Kassy is a delight at the Clinic and at Surgery Weekends – her smiling face always brightens up all of the Fresh Start staff and volunteers!