May 6th, 2010. Foundation Surgeons to operate on huntington beach resident so she can close her eye, breathe easier and face the world.
(Beverly Hills, CA) – Laura Gill, born with congenital facial paralysis on the right side of her face. has lived her entire life with a collapsed nasal cavity and severely compromised vision. As a result, she has encountered a lifetime of physical challenges and emotional distress.
Despite these challenges, she has enjoyed a career in sales, until, because of the economic crisis, she lost her job and her medical insurance. Although she has had many medical procedures to help correct her eye and collapsed nasal passage, she is experiencing more physical problems than ever as a result of these deformities, which compound her search for new work.
Her face is drooping more than ever. Her right eye is constantly tearing, irritated and infected, and it’s difficult for her to breathe out of her nose.
Enter DrS. Kami Parsa, Jay Calvert and Andrew P. Ordon of “The Doctors.” Since they founded Surgical Friends Foundation, this trio of highly-trained plastic surgeons has collaborated on a series of difficult reconstructive cases. They have decided to help Laura because they know their expertise will change her life for the better, and significantly help Laura’s ability to function both socially and on the job. Her surgery is scheduled for June 18th. MedDev corporation has donated a 1.0 gm gold weight to be implanted on Laura’s right upper eyelid so she can close her eye.
Founded in 2009, they started Surgical Friends in response to the lack of qualified, high-level surgeons and training in developing countries, as well as the lack of health coverage in our own nation for millions of Americans.
Surgical Friends foundation’s mission is to unite philanthropists, reconstructive surgeons, and the patients that need surgery the most but cannot afford it, due to lack of access or financial difficulties. Most of the foundations patients have physical deformities that are congenital, post-traumatic or acquired in nature.
In addition, Surgical Friends Foundation has adopted a ‘Play it Forward’ objective. The doctors believe that the key to addressing global healthcare issues is not just helping individuals, but through education. Consequently, training the surgeons they work with in third-world countries in the advanced surgical techniques use to resolve these challenging cases is a primary focus of the foundation. The level of training offered by Dr. Parsa, one of our nation’s top oculoplastic surgeons and Dr. Calvert, member of the elite Rhinoplasty Society, and a sought-after speaker on the subject of his innovative grafting techniques, would be hard to come by, if not impossible in most of the countries they visit.
This year, Dr. Parsa has already completed a mission to Cambodia, where he operated on 25 different patients with various eye conditions. However, Parsa also trained a local doctor at the hospital on how to correct ptosis or ‘droopy eyelid,’ and he has gone on to perform 30 more surgeries. While it is a fairly common condition, if pstosis is not corrected early on, blindness results.
To help provide badly-needed training on a broader scale, Surgical Friends is currently in the process of creating an Educational video Library Portal which will feature training videos. Available only on a ‘members only’ basis, that will include doctors, nurses, and medical students, the videos will teach advanced techniques such as cleft palate repair. As Dr. Parsa explains, “True progress happens when you can share knowledge, and thanks to the internet, we are now at a ‘tipping point’ when it comes to education. Whether a physician or surgeon is in Afghanistan, Rwanda or Cambodia – if you can provide them with training that they couldn’t have gotten because it was financially impossible – then we have broken down a barrier.”
Of the three highly-qualified surgeons, many may be familiar with Dr. Andrew Ordon from the syndicated show, ‘The Doctors.” Dr. Ordon has recently teamed up with Smile Train for a trip to India, where he lent his expertise to correct cleft palates on children.
The philanthropic work of Surgical Friends has been made possible with the support of doctors, nurses, donors and corporate sponsors such as Mckesson Medical Surgical, Stryker Cranial Maxillofacial, Porex Surgical Inc. and Integra Foundation.
For more information on the Surgical Friends Foundation and to view a video of a recent case surgery, visit www.surgicalfriends.org. For information on the founding surgeons, visit www.drcalvert.com, www.oculoplastic.info (for Dr. Parsa) and www.Drordon.com.