Alarmingly, birth defects are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children, especially in countries where adequate medical services aren’t as readily available. Birth defects can be defined as structural changes, from birth, that can affect almost any part of the child’s body. Birth defects can affect appearance, function, or in worst case scenarios, both.

A child’s birth defect impacts more than just the child’s body- it impacts the entire family. Their quality of life and the ability to interact with the world around them is severely impacted.

For 3 years beginning in 2018, Standish Foundation for Children joined a team of medical volunteers that provided surgeries for children and adults in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Care is for patients with facial deformities caused by congenital anomalies, cancer or trauma. 

Most surgeries repair cleft lip and palate and microtia which is a malformation or absence of the ear/s. In addition to eating and breathing difficulties, patients with these defects usually suffer the traumatizing psychological effects of bullying and social isolation. 

Reconstructive plastic surgery is done to correct facial and body abnormalities caused by these defects. Ultimately, the goal of reconstructive plastic surgery is to improve body function, alleviate emotional trauma and enhance overall quality of living.

When a patient receives these special surgeries, they also receive the gift of a new life.

We are thrilled to return to Cambodia in January 2023 and be a part of the team that delivers that gift of life to even MORE patients in need. The team of volunteers from Northwest Medical Volunteers/Face to Face is led by Dr. Sam P. Most and has been serving children and families in Cambodia since 2006. 

During this trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, we will again provide education and support to children and their families, as well as the adult patients. Donors support will allow us to provide toys, games, books, arts and crafts, comfort of home items and educational materials too.

Stay tuned on social media for updates about this important medical mission. If you’d like to support our work, please donate here to directly impact Cambodian children and families in dire need of reconstructive surgeries.