Trip Summary - October 25-November 4, 2017
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,

There were two Face the Challenge humanitarian missions in 2017. The 37th FTC mission trip was March 11-18, a joint medical mission with Potter's Field Ministries of Whitefish, Montana. Randolph (Randy) C. Robinson, MD, DDS, Cranio-Maxillo-Facial and Facial Cosmetic Surgeon, FTC Co-Founder, and the Robinsons' daughter, Anna R. Robinson, helped the team serve the medical needs of about 800 people in Paramos, Antigua, and Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala. Then on October 25-November 4, Dr. Randy Robinson and his wife, Ginger H. Robinson, BSN, RN, FTC President, returned to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the 38th FTC mission since 1993.

As with prior trips to southern Vietnam, Dr. and Mrs. Robinson met with surgical teams and patients at two facial surgery specialty hospitals. First, on October 30 and October 31, they visited the Odontomaxillofacial Hospital (OMFH, in Saigon District 1). Second, on November 2, they visited the National Hospital of Odontostomatology (NHOS, in Cholon District 5).

At the OMFH they met with two young patients from the Mekong Delta. Both were born with severe Tessier #3 and #4 facial cleft deformities, respectively: now a 9-year-old girl, Duyen, and now a 3 1/2 year-old boy, Xuyen.

On FTC Surgical Trip #35 in March 2015, Dr. Robinson, the FTC team, and the OMFH surgeons performed lengthy surgeries on Duyen and Xuyen. They did complex primary cleft closure surgeries - from the chin completely up to the forehead and into the scalp for each child. These children had presented with some of the worst types of all cleft deformities involving the face. The outcomes for these first of several more needed, staged surgeries were successful and satisfying to the staff and parents.

And now the Robinsons hope that a charitable occuloplastic surgeon can step-up to perform: 1) eyelid surgery for Xuyen so he can close his eyes for the first time in his life, and 2) relatively soon do corneal transplants for both Xuyen's eyes. His own corneas (normally the clear front parts of eyes) are badly scarred, all due to the drying effects of his deformities and exposed eyes since birth, nearly three years ago.

Dr. Le Thi Viet, former Maxillofacial Surgery Dept. Dir., takes a photo of Drs. Robinson and Tung as they operate. OMFH, Saigon District 1, Vietnam, October 31

 

On October 31 at the OMFH, Dr. Robinson operated with their team on a 10-year-old girl, Mai, born with a version of cleft-related deformities in front of each of her ears. Both of these structures were removed and Mai and her father, Nam, were grateful finally to have her needs addressed.

On November 2, the Robinsons went to the National Hospital of Odontostomatology (NHOS, in Cholon District 5). The NHOS facial surgeons and surgical residents gathered for Dr. Robinson to examine two patients, an 11-year girl and a woman, both experiencing pain caused from significant tumors in their temporomandibular joints (TMJs or jaw joints). In both cases, these patients needed surgical removal of these growths soon. The NHOS team decided on reasonable plans on how to proceed.

Dr. Robinson then taught two hour-long lectures on immediate dental implants and orthognathic (jaw) surgeries; relevant topics of interest to the NHOS staff. The translators did an excellent job doing technical simultaneous translations, too!

For both hospitals the Robinsons, on behalf of FACE the Challenge donors, gave compassion "I Care" lapel pins and brand new facial surgery text books. It was gratifying to witness the delight of these surgeons. They were eager to enhance their learning and apply new surgical techniques.

Sometimes people ask how far such a humanitarian journey can be. This time it was from Denver, Colorado, to San Francisco, California, to Singapore, and to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. And then we passed through each of these same destinations in reverse, back to Denver. In-flight hours totaled 40 1/2 hours and the number of miles flown round-trip was 20,144 miles!

Further, the time zone differences between Denver and Singapore were 14 hours and Denver and Vietnam were 13 hours. As those who travel over many time zones at once, they know well the challenges of jet lag!

This humanitarian mission to southern Vietnam was Dr. Robinson's 26th since 1994 and Mrs. Robinson's 16th since 1996. For the sake of helping others with great needs for facial surgery, every trip, every hour, and going through every time zone remains worthwhile. We are thankful to God for these privileges. And we are grateful for the prayers, financial support, and encouragement of many who make these trips and estimated total of 1,238 surgeries possible.

As we look to what the future for FTC might hold, we think of this guiding motto, "Be His hands and touch the needy," and this reminder, "Being kind to those in need honors God (Proverbs 14:31)."

SEE TRIP SLIDESHOW

Upcoming FTC Trip Scheduled for Fall 2019
Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

FTC Co-founders, Randolph (Randy) C. Robinson, MD, DDS and his wife, Ginger H. Robinson, BSN, RN, will return to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in October. Dr. Robinson will provide facial surgery consultations and give related lectures at two hospitals, the Odonto-Maxillo-Facial Surgery Hospital (OMFH), Saigon District 1, and the National Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology (NHOS), Cholon District 5.

FTC teams have collaborated with specialists at these hospitals since February 1995. The lectures this year will be a historic review, including case studies of patients with complex needs. These patients received surgeries by FTC and host surgical teams during the past two decades.

Our Facial Surgery Hosts and Friends Await
In Their Own Words

"We are very happy to hear from you. It 's a great chance to have the consultations from Dr. Robinson and hear his wonderful lectures also. See you at the airport!" - MT

"Thank you so much for your faithfulness to help! FACE the Challenge and you offer the poor and medically needy huge benefits." - RC

"Dear special people! This year Mrs. Ginger and Dr. Robinson will come back to Vietnam. I look forward to seeing this 'beautiful couple' again. I need your advice about how to reconstruct the nose and orbits [eye sockets] to place prosthetic eyes for a boy. [He was born with facial differences]." - HN

 

"Thank you so much for your planned return. Our colleagues in the [facial surgery specialty] hospital are always willing to welcome you and Dr. Randy." - LC

"'BC' [a Face the Challenge team anesthetist for several years who passed away in May 2019] always will have a special place in my life. She was the one who brought me to Vietnam [to administer anesthesia] and introduced me to reverent people such as yourselves." - QS

"...hope that you and Dr. Robinson are going to give us 'more helping.' Thanks for coming back." - KL

Dr. Thuy Chau, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, and students review a CT scan with Dr. Robinson regarding a young patient's needs for facial surgery, Odonto-Maxillo-Facial Hospital.

Co-founders Returning to Vietnam this Fall

October 2019
FTC Co-founders, Dr. Randolph Robinson and his wife, Ginger will return to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in October.

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December 2018 Newsletter

"It is our pleasure to have you here. We found the lectures very helpful and practical. I extremely appreciate what you have done, not only to help us to broaden our horizon, but also improve our skills."
- Dr. Trong Thao Le, Director, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Odonto Maxillo Facial Hospital (OMFH), Saigon District 1

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FTC Medical Trip #38

Oct. 25-Nov. 4, 2017
As with prior trips to southern Vietnam, Dr. and Mrs. Robinson met with surgical teams and patients at two facial surgery specialty hospitals.

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Safely Back at the Lighthouse Orphanage

In March 2016 Face the Challenge was asked by Steve and Jenny Vrooman in the Denver metropolitan area if we would be willing to help a precious orphan abandoned at birth: "Dimash," born March 31, 2015.

READ DIMASH'S STORY

Face the Challenge (FTC) was founded by Randolph (Randy) C. Robinson, MD, DDS, cranio-maxillo-facial surgeon, and his wife, Ginger Holmes Robinson, BSN, RN (cardiac and critical care). Since the late 1970's, they shared a dream to offer their medical services to the world's needy.
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