24 Hours on a Donkey, 15 Hours on a Bus


A guest blog by Jesta

Short post, no pics yet (I’ve asked OS for permission to use some of the pictures that I shot yesterday).

I’ve just come out of the Operation Room (OR) where I spent most of my morning. The main event was a repair of a cleft lip and palate of a girl (I’ll get the correct spelling of her name later) who will eventually feature in a film that OS is making of this trip. She was under for nearly 3 hours, but the difference is incredible.

The story gets better.

Her parents are divorced, and she lives with her grandfather. He rode with her on a donkey* for 24 hours and then took two different buses taking more than 15 hours to get to Urumqi to bring her to the hospital. When I left the OR he was still waiting outside to see her for the first time – her aunt had gone in to the OR to see her.

I showed him the pictures of the girl post-op that I had on my camera. He took one look and the tears started welling up. He couldn’t look away, but it was such an emotional moment. It was wonderful to be able to see just how much this sort of thing means…

It’s moments like this that really hammer home the importance of what Operation Smile does. I can’t tell you just how valuable this service is for the children and the parents. If you do one thing this year that will make an immediate difference to a child in need then a donation to Operation Smile will be a really good thing to do.

It’s nearly 3pm and I need lunch, so I’ll update later.

* the first version of this post said “horse”, but I have since found out that it was actually a donkey.

3 thoughts on “24 Hours on a Donkey, 15 Hours on a Bus

  1. Avatar

    Thanks for sharing.
    This is definitely an emotional journey.
    Don’t forget to make a slideshow when you come back. It will definitely move people (esp girls) to tears watching it.

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