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Medical Mission Stories

Heal and Teach

Children’s Lifeline believes at its core that, It is not enough just to heal…but to train and enable the host hospitals to continue the life saving work of the missions.

Recently, an 8 month old child (S.K.) from Phnom Penh, Cambodia was diagnosed with congenital heart disease and congenital cataracts in both eyes. She was having intermittent dyspnea because of her heart defect and needed surgery that was not available in Phnom Penh.

The father planned to take her to Vietnam or France for her heart surgery.  They were told, “They might be able to get her surgery done at Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC)” –  a non-profit host hospital for Lifeline’s Cambodia missions. The baby girl was seen at Angkor Hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia and her diagnosis was confirmed.  The family met with Dr. Vuthy a senior surgeon at Angkor Hospital.  He explained that he had assisted the Lifeline surgeons many times and he was now performing the procedure himself.  Children’s Lifeline has been providing medical missions to AHC for six years.  Dr. Vuthy informed the family; they had the option of waiting for the Lifeline heart surgery mission team to return.

The girl’s father said, “Why wait, I trust you to do the surgery.”  Dr. Vuthy performed the surgery without complications, she was discharged two days later and the family was very grateful to have the medical problem treated in their country – Cambodia and by a Cambodian surgeon.  This is just one example of how the missions of Children’s Lifeline pass on the knowledge to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff of the International Host Hospitals. The goal is to have doctors, from some of the most prestigious US hospitals, travel to Host Hospitals in developing countries around the world to heal and teach.