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. And in May Ginger H. Robinson, BSN, RN, President of Face the Challenge, wrote a letter to Kazakh authorities seeking permission for a medical visa.
Then in July she received a letter of approval and arranged for Dimash to travel with his Lighthouse Orphanage Director, Alexander "Sasha" Metso, and one of his care providers, Bolat Kulmamirov. It all went so smoothly and the flight reservations were completed in less than 48 hours. The trio arrived in Denver on September 12 and were graciously hosted by the Vrooman family for the entirety of their stay.
Dimash had his surgery at Robinson Cosmetic Surgery in Lone Tree, Colorado on September 20, 2016. It included 1.) a cleft palate (hole in the roof of his mouth) "double z-plasty" closure surgery and 2.) bilateral "myringotomies" (placement of two ear tubes). These procedures were performed by Randolph (Randy) C. Robinson, MD, DDS, FAACS, Oral, Maxillofacial, and Craniofacial Surgeon and Co-Founder of Face the Challenge.
The surgical team worked well together and there were no complications for Dimash. Gabriela Stoger Stevens, MSN, RN and Katy Page, RN, from the Denver area, were with Dimash overnight in the post-anesthesia care unit. They provided skilled and compassionate care and quickly became Dimash's "American Aunties!"
Prior to surgery, Dimash was examined by an audiologist in Denver. She found he had hearing loss due to his chronic ear infections; a fairly common occurrence among young children with cleft palates. But after the tubes were placed on September 20 and the infection drained, Dimash's hearing improved! This event happened at an important time of Dimash's speech development and should enhance his learning and social skills.
Sasha was here during the week of Dimash's surgery and he helped with translations (Russian and Kazakh to English). Bolat remained at Dimash's side during the entire time and the two returned safely to the Light House Orphanage in Almaty, Kazakhstan on October 17.
We are glad for what many kind people did to make it possible for Dimash to have his surgery done and recover well! Beyond Dimash's cleft lip closure done in January 2016, it had not been possible for Dimash to have the more extensive palate surgery done in his homeland.
We thank God for this immense privilege. And we pray God will show His favor on all of "Team Dimash" and others with whom Face the Challenge has served together on behalf of "the least of these" in need of facial reconstructive surgeries. Now, we pray Dimash's life and the lives of those with whom he comes in contact will be enhanced; filled with the hope and light of God.
All fees were waived by Dr. Robinson and any remaining surgery-related expenses were covered by Face the Challenge and its generous donors. Administrative efforts done by Ginger Robinson were, as always, free of charge.