Clowns return from 10-day medical mission in Lima Peru
Four clowns from Caring Clowns International traveled with a team of 13 craniofacial surgeons, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologist and scrub techs to Lima, Peru where they performed much needed surgeries.
CoCo, Duffy, Flora and Rose entertained many children, their families and the hospital staff at the 700-bed Instituto Ncional de Salud del Nino.
The US medical team members are all part of Komedyplast. They all volunteer their time and pay their own way to make these trips. They have completed over 180 surgeries in the 12-year period…all successful.
They are one-of-a-kind nonprofit, because they focus on correcting complex facial anomalies, in addition to doing cleft lip and cleft palate corrections.
During the week, the surgeons operated in two ORs, and performed about 15 surgeries, many of which were full facial reconstructions requiring long seven to nine hour surgeries.
This is our 12th year with Komedyplast and we have been on all their missions to Peru. We are officially their international entertainment troupe.
We clowned all day our first Saturday there, during “screening day,” when the Doctors take a last look at kids for potential surgeries for the following week. While families are waiting, we entertain the children and adults. There were about 50 families that came for the screening. It is a long and stressful day for the children and their families and so the comedic entertainment helped to distract them during the process.
This year, our complete focus was in the hospital and with Komedyplast patients, parents and our doctors, as well as with staff and patients throughout the hospital and adjacent clinic. We spent real quality time in pre-op with a number of our Komedyplast kids, as well as follow-up in post-op. Our presence made a noticeable difference in lowering anxiety not only for the kids, but with their parents, too.
While the Doctors were in surgery, we clowns not only went bed-to-bed throughout the 700 bed children’s hospital but also spent time in the burn unit, the cardio unit and the hospital’s busy clinic.
Special thanks to Coco’s niece Kathy-Ann for knitting over 100 hats of various colors and sizes for the children and also to fellow Caring Clowns international member Sparkles friends Shirley and Darrel Wood for donating Beanie Babies for the children.
The four video links below illustrate the positive impact clowning had for the children; you can see the joy in their faces and those of their parents. The four videos are:
Monday arrival at the hospital in the busy clinic
Visiting the very busy clinic and the burn unit
Beautiful children with their new hats and Beanie Babies
The Doctors which is a tribute to the work the US medical team did and some before/after photos of some of the successful surgeries