‘We want to do more,’ say Mölnlycke’s Operation Smile volunteers after emotional mission to India
Seeing the life-changing impact of cleft lip and cleft palate surgery on children in India made a big impression on four Mölnlycke volunteers.
The four volunteers were nominated internally to the mission by fellow colleagues based on the amount of funds they raised as part of Mölnlycke’s corporate giving campaign. During the mission in Vijayawada, India, which provided cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to almost 100 children and adults, they gave support and comfort to the families and children as they prepared for and underwent surgery.
Below the volunteers’ reflections on this powerful experience.
Joy of transformation inspired Kimberly
“There’s an expression in India ‘Don’t wet your eyes’,” says Kimberly Miner, Regional Clinical Specialist and nurse from the USA. “Well, I wet my eyes a lot, especially when they brought children out of post-operative ward and into the arms of their families. The parents’ relief and joy at seeing the transformation of their children was like nothing else I’ve experienced.
“It’s such a gift to help give these patients a more normal life, without being bullied or ostracised.”
‘They could have been my children,’ says Sami
“I had been to UN camps in South Sudan as a visitor before,” says Sami Ahsani, Product Development Manager in Gothenburg and a fundraising champion for Operation Smile. “But this experience made a greater impact on me. Some of the kids were the same age as my son and daughter. I kept thinking how I would feel if they were my children. I’ll never forget their faces.
Concepcion wants to go further for Operation Smile
Concepcion Vazquez, Clinical Specialist Manager from Spain, is a former operating room (OR) nurse. “Some of the children were so young and helpless,” she says, “I couldn’t stop myself crying when I thought about the difference the surgery would make to their lives.”
Boy’s smile made a deep impression on Chia Wei
Chia Wei Loh, Microbiology Manager and Operation Smile fundraising champion for our factory in Malaysia, was also deeply affected by the mission.
“One little boy made a big impression on me. He was only five years old, very playful and proud of himself and his cleft lip – for him, he already looked great and the operation was just a bonus! That made me smile. I was very impressed with how the Operation Smile organisation works, how they look after all of the patients throughout the process.”
All four volunteers agreed that the experience truly touched them and they will use it to inspire their fellow colleagues to raise more funds during 2018’s corporate giving campaign.