Those babies

One of my favorite parts of being on D ward is watching little malnourished babies with cleft lips or palates getting chubbier until they weigh enough to be able to have their surgeries. Syringe feeding those tiny mouths once an hour on night shift to prevent them from having refeeding syndrome. Seeing the helpless and scared faces of those mamas turn into determination and slowly, joy as those babies start making progress. Being there for that baby’s first smile or giggle because he is catching up developmentally with the proper nutrition he is receiving. Hearing that same mama tell us that she is “Faly faly be!” (Very happy!) after her baby’s successful operation. 
Last week the surgeons on board the Africa Mercy repaired the 200th palate for this field service, which is more than we have ever been able to repair before.