Pablo’s Return

This week, a woman carried her 1-year-old son into the hospital. In her hand was this well-worn card.

Dr. John holds up the card he wrote one year ago, assuring Pablo's mother he was a "good case for next year."

Dr. John holds up the card he wrote one year ago, assuring Pablo’s mother he was a “good case for next year.”

The card was a promise for the future – a promise she had held on to for the past year. Dr. John gave it to Tomasa almost exactly one year ago.

When she came to last year’s clinic, her son, Pablo, was just one week old and had a cleft lip. Dr. John knew that 6 months was as young as he liked to perform this surgery, but he wanted to leave Pablo with some hope for the future.

Pablo's chart at one week and one year.

Pablo’s chart at one week and one year.

So he gave her the card. It said to come back to the hospital in one year, at which time Pablo would be made a priority.

“We’ve developed a system where it’s not one day and goodbye,” said Dr. John. “Because of the time we’ve spent in this community, we can continue to have relationships with people year after year.”

Pablo’s surgery was Wednesday.

Pablo in surgery.

Pablo in surgery.

Within hours, he was back resting surrounded by his mother and grandparents.

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Cleotilde, Pablo’s grandfather, said they’ve all been really looking forward to Pablo getting the surgery.

He hopes in the future, Pablo can lead a normal and healthy life.

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