Adventures at the Kay Anj Village are always special. This trip to Haiti included Dr. McIntyre, Becky and three of our team members and that made it even more special. One of our wonderful hygienists, Erica Monroe, our spectacular doctor scheduler, Janitza Rivera, and our amazing former assistant Rosanna Buford (she got married and moved to Delaware about 12 years ago) made it possible to work out of three dental chairs and we got LOTS of dentistry done. The children that actually live at the orphanage now have their dental health under control. The hopeless teeth have been extracted, the bad cavities have been filled, everyone has had a cleaning, and most of them have preventative sealants on their molars to prevent cavities. The children at the orphanage actually have good homecare as their "mamas" make sure they brush twice a day, and they have a very low sugar diet with few treats. The biggest dental problems occurred in teeth prior to coming to Kay Anj, and there was never a way to fix the teeth prior to the dental clinic Smiles for Life established.
One patient in particular stood out for Dr. McIntyre and for Becky:
Dr. McIntyre: “What I can tell you impressed me about the trip this time was the gratitude of the children who we helped. One boy who came to the clinic about the age of 17 had broken off his two front teeth. After we cleaned his teeth he expressed a desire to have the upper front teeth repaired. Obviously they are in a very visible spot and about one third of the tooth was broken off. I worked on him for about an hour and a half, building up the teeth with composites, and when we got all done he looked at his new smile and gave me a hug. He then went out to the van and kept looking at himself in the rearview mirror of the van that had brought him in from the large city. We had worked on approximately 17 children that day, so he and the other boys that came were at the clinic all day long until all of them were seen. As they were getting ready to depart he along with many of the others came forward and give us hugs and thanked us for our work. He wanted to call Becky 'mommy Mac' and thanked both her and I repeatedly. Now I feel that we have changed this boy’s life because people will judge him on who he really is and not as one having big holes in his front teeth!”
Becky: “He saw me and came over and gave me a big hug and told me, 'You're my Mama' and I hugged him back and said, 'Then you're my boy.' I got another big hug from him when he left the clinic area. It was so neat and fulfilling to see how excited he was to be able to smile again.”
Janitza said that the entire experience changed her life forever.
Janitza: “Going on my trip to Haiti opened my heart much bigger than I ever thought it would be opened. The kids at the orphanage were so loving and affectionate, and I wasn’t expecting that from the get go. For some of them to run up to me, not even knowing who I was, and love on me was something that I’m unable to explain. Being able to give so much love, attention, understanding, and deliver so much dentistry to them was a very rewarding experience. These kids have forever changed my life. I miss them already.”
We are immensely grateful that several members of our staff are able to travel to Haiti to serve these amazing kids. The clinic at the Kay Anj Village has improved dramatically, but there is still a long way to go. If you would like to support the dental clinic, please click here to donate, and apply your gift to the dental clinic. Another simple way to support Helping Haitian Angels (the organization running the orphanage) is to do your regular Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com and select Helping Haitian Angels as the charity that you support.