Every January, Children of the Americas transports a team of compassionate, gifted and enthusiastic medical and support volunteers to Guatemala. Those of you who read this blog regularly know what we do and why we do it. What is less well-known is the individual identities in our lives back in the states. As a medical team in Guatemala we are cohesive, synergistic and dedicated to our mission purpose.
These personal and professional traits are no less evident in our work here in
The article links (below), recently published by the University of Kentucky Medical Center, offer great tributes to some of our outstanding COTA volunteers.
Many of our COTA volunteers have received professional accolades and social media publication showcasing the work they do on our Guatemalan teams. Each and every time we read about "one of our own" we have a deeper understanding of why the Children of the Americas board is so proud of our volunteers.
Dr. James Liau is a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing at the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital here in Lexington, KY where COTA is based. His surgical skills have restored health and emotional well-being to hundreds of Guatemalan children during his years of traveling with us.
As is evident in this article, fear and uncertainty are common denominators that cross geographical and social boundaries when parents are faced with the challenges of negotiating medical care for a baby with a complex surgical need.
Dr.Liau and his COTA support team are adept at meeting the myriad of emotional and surgical needs of both the child and the parents when it comes to cleft reconstruction. His UKMC support staff do the same here in the states.
No matter what country our volunteer medical and support staff work in, the commonality of the human experience is the single most profound take-away we bring home with us.
In these times of increasing political and religious division, we think that is a valuable lesson indeed.