Lifestyle

Putting smiles on young faces

Nurse Sacha Kay and plastic surgeon Dr James Gaffield are travelling to the Philippines to perform cleft palate surgery.
Nurse Sacha Kay and plastic surgeon Dr James Gaffield are travelling to the Philippines to perform cleft palate surgery.

A BASIC concrete building with minimal sanitation, basic equipment and poor electricity in the Philippines is a far cry from plastic surgeon James Gaffield's pristine Bundaberg surgery.

But that building will be home to Dr Gaffield next week as he embarks on a 10-day charity mission, performing cleft palate and lip surgeries on children in Manila.

"A friend of mine started this organisation, Operation Restore Hope, about 20 years ago," he said.

It is the eighth year Dr Gaffield has travelled to the Philippines, and he will be one of four doctors who will perform more than 80 free surgeries for children with cleft conditions.

A cleft lip, also referred to as a harelip, is a wide gap in the upper lip.

A cleft palate is a large, gaping hole in the roof of the mouth.

Dr Gaffield said the instances of children in Asian countries who were born with a cleft were twice as high as those in Australia.

"One in 500 children are born with a cleft in Asian countries," Dr Gaffield said.

He said the reasons for this were due to both genetics and diet.

"(The children) are heavy into rice and sweets," he said.

Dr Gaffield said in Australia, the surgery to repair a cleft was rather inexpensive and only took about an hour.

"The problem (in the Philippines) is that for many children, the surgery never happens," he said.

"It's expensive for them.

"The public system there does a little bit, but there are tons of people who slip through the cracks."

Dr Gaffield said the cleft surgery was more effective if performed when the child was about one-year-old.

"Once you learn improper speech, it's almost impossible to correct," he said.

The doctor said the results spoke for themselves.

"The older kids who have these things, they are very, very shy," he said.

"It doesn't affect your intelligence but they are socially isolated - they tend not to speak at all because they sound strange and kids tease them."

Dr Gaffield, who will be assisted by nurse Sacha Kay, said the trip was self-funded with materials, such as gauze, being donated by the Friendly Society Hospital.

The plastic surgeon said he did not have to think twice about why he was involved with the charity.

"It's something I can do and there is a need for it."

Topics:  charity health philippines plastic surgery



PHOTOS: Have a look inside revamped Alloway club

AT THE VENUE: Eden Wickens and Steffanie Marschke.

If a change is as good as a holiday, then have one in Alloway

Extreme caution during heatwave

SUMMER WEATHER: Brisbane visitors Juliet and Harvey Taylor enjoying the surf on a hot day at Bargara.

Bundaberg to reach high 30s

Why you could find it hard to get garlic bread in Bundy

Australia may be facing a garlic bread shortage.

First there was the cheese toast tragedy, now this.

Local Partners

Toddler's fingers taken in horrific lawn mower accident

SHE should have been celebrating her brother's birthday, but instead Bundaberg toddler Lexi Brigg's was being flown to Brisbane for emergency surgery.


What's happening in Bundy today?

Things to do in Bundaberg today.

A list of five things happening around the region today.

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Amber Heard 'smitten' with Elon Musk

Amber Heard

ACTRESS is reportedly excited about going public with new boyfriend

New doco argues ‘OJ Simpson is innocent, and I can prove it’

O.J. Simpson

NEW documentary series claims to have found “missing evidence".

REVIEW: Undressed is more than titilating entertainment

Nathan and Tahlia meet for the first time on the TV series Undressed.

'DIVERSE' dating show goes more than skin deep.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

What a year 2016 proved to be

Entrance Island, Birtinya

Get the inside info from the agents themselves

REVEALED: What Coast wants in an international airport

Sunshine Coast business people share their views on what's needed

Time for a cool change

43 Eckersley Ave, Buderim.

Family home goes to the auction floor

Designer home set in lush tropical gardens

This home has it all and more

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!