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Surgical mission trip to Bolivia

December 9th, 2012

Hi friends,

I just received this email from Savannah our Videographer for our surgical mission trip to Bolivia. She wrote this after her first day in Bolivia. It’s emotional, raw and beautiful. It really portrays the reason why giving back is one of the most amazing things possible.

Kami Parsa, M.D.

Hi Friends!I’m not normally one to give email updates or blogs on my trips but today was an exceptional day so I felt I just had to share while it was still fresh in my brain. Today was an exceptional day but it was also a very sweaty, LONG, active, emotionally draining, physical, mental crazy day. We started with a 6am wake up time… breakfast at the hotel at 6:30 where I had the sweet sweet fresh mango, then 7:00am in the car for an arrival at the hospital at 7:30. Of course I attached the GO Pro to the car most places we drive with some gaff tape and often forget it … but Bolivia seems incredibly safe so far. The people are so warm and hospitable, they make you feel like your old friends even though you’ve just met.

When we arrived at the clinic we walked through the gates and already there were so many patients waiting for us, as we walked down the palm tree lined path so many kids running around and older people sitting on benches, they all stopped to stare at us, like we were gods coming to save their lives. I can’t illustrate the feeling, I don’t even think I captured it on camera (though always I was filming). Each person staring us with deformed eyes, faces, but so much hope. As we entered the facility there was a HUGE waiting room filled past capacity of people waiting for Dr. Parsa to evaluate them and they all seemed to pray to god that they would get operated on. I actually started crying, it was too much to hold in.

We then proceeded to the opthalmologist’s office to begin evaluations. With over 70 people waiting to be evaluated, it was chaos, each person’s story was more and more tear jerking. The two that really got me was a two year old who came in with his mother and he couldn’t open his eyes. It was too painful, he just cried and cried. The doctors caught a look at his legs and he had a massive infection which made it impossible to open his eyes, he was actually in need of antibiotics and an operation … otherwise he may have died. His body was decomposing. Omg.. whent they chose him, his mother… who seemed my age became so emotional because for many of these people they can’t afford the proper medication so to have one of the best oculoplastic surgeons in the world agree to operate is truly a gift from the gods (to them). The other one that shocked me was a 25 year old woman whose boyfriend poured acid on her face and lost her left eye and had a burned skin. We also discovered eyelid tumours and cancers and omg… it was endless. But it was also incredibly heartbreaking as there were 70 patients who traveled from all over bolivia but we could only take 18 patients as many of the operations are long and complicated cases… so thats a hec of a lot of people we had to say no.

But the truly powerful thing about this project isn’t the 18 patients who’s lives are improved… its the fact that Dr. Parsa is teaching the doctors here to do what he does. He is walking them through it step by step and teaching them how they can treat the other patients. Thats why they chose diverse cases so he can teach a wide variety of things. One doctor flew in from la paz to learn from him.

It’s also Carnival, which is a HUGE festivity closing all the streets where people throw water balloons filled with paint and everyone is walking around with different colors and there are parades and music in the streets and dancing and quite a vibe. I took a break and walked around with Frank (our body guard.. ) so I could film some of the culture.

This email is getting long and its 12am… but it was such a jam packed day..

We then went and operated on 3 patients. Left the OR at 9pm and went to a cafe for dinner. I’m not such a fan of the food here… but I love the spanish.

Okay tired now.

Much Love,

Savannah


Patient Testimonials

June 3rd, 2011
Dear Dr. Parsa:I just watched the informative, “The Doctors Show.” There are so many people that have some type of facial -paralysis out there that need to know that there is help. I knew the surgery helped but to see my eye actually blinking was such a profound experience that I watched the video over and over. I have never been able to do this or even close my eye. By having the procedure done, I am now able to blink close my eye shielding my right eye from outside elements like dust, water, soap or any other bacterial infectious elements that can cause irritation and infections. The Doctors show, Surgical Friends Foundation, Dr. Parsa, Dr. Ordon and their dedicated staff have made this life changing procedure Possible.

I feel so blessed and truly thankful

My Sincerest Regards,

Laura L. Gill

Facial Paralysis – Laura’s Story

May 15th, 2011

See how your support has changed Laura’s life.

May 15th, 2011

When Laura was born, her facial nerves and muscles were severely damaged by the forceps doctors used to assist in her delivery, leaving the right side of her face permanently paralyzed. Laura explains her lifetime of struggles, and how shes reached out for new hope.

Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Kami Parsa and plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon perform a life-changing surgery for Laura, who suffers from facial paralysis.

Here is befor and after photos of Laura’s Facial Paralysis surgery.

Laura Facial Paralysis beforeLaura Facial Paralysis after

Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Kami Parsa and plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon performed a life-changing surgery for Laura, who suffers from facial paralysis. Dr. Parsa and Laura joinThe Doctors to demonstrate the procedure and reveal her dramatic result!

SURGICAL FRIENDS FOUNDATION TO GIVE THE GIFT OF SIGHT TO YOUNG GIRL FROM LAREDO TEXAS

January 20th, 2011

Father Once Believed That All “Charities are a Scam,” Now Transformed Into Giving Back

Beverly Hills, CA – January 20, 2011 – Surgical Friends Foundation, a non profit charity which provides reconstructive surgery and post-operative care to individuals living with physical deformities who do not have access to quality medical care will be preforming a ptosis surgery on Viviana Facundo a four year old girl from Houston, TX.

SURGICAL FRIENDS FOUNDATION TO GIVE THE GIFT OF SIGHT TO VIVIANA FACUNDO FROM LAREDO TEXAS

This surgery will repair and possibly save her eyesight. “Viviana suffers from congenital ptosis, also known as droopy eyelid and if she does not have this surgery the result would be permanent blurred vision and possibly blindness in the affected eye. While the healthcare debate continues in our country, there are immediate needs all over the world similar to Viviana”s,” said Dr. Kami Parsa, a founder of Surgical Friends Foundation and the surgeon to perform Viviana’s surgery.

Viviana first came to the attention of the Surgical Friends Foundation when Gerardo Facundo, Viviana’s father completed an online application for patient consideration. Facundo says, “I never believed in charities, I’ve always believed that they were a scam. I thought the money people sent in never reached the kids or people they claimed to be trying to help. So you can imagine how surprised and happy I was when I received the news that Surgical Friends Foundation would take my daughter’s case.”

“When I lost my job and our family’s healthcare, I didn’t hold much hope that my daughter would be helped. I am relieved that the Surgical Friends team will prevent her from having permanent blurred vision in her right eye or even blindness, and that she will be able to live more normally as other kids her age. Words cannot describe my joy, relief, and gratitude,” said Facundo.

Dr. Kami Parsa Just finished Viviana's surgery. She is doing great.

Facundo goes on to say that, “Once I get back on my feet I plan to donate a portion of my income to Surgical Friends and other charities so that more kids in need can have the same opportunity as Viviana.”

The surgery will be preformed in Beverly Hills, on March 4, 2011

About Surgical Friends Foundation
Founded in 2009 to provide free reconstructive surgery and post-operative care for those suffering from life threatening physical deformities, whether congenital, post traumatic or acquired in nature, and who lack monetary funds and access to quality care. Surgical Friends Foundation also teaches and mentors medical teams from developing countries on new life-saving surgical techniques. The Surgical Friends team provides surgical care both in the US and abroad. To make a donation to Surgical Friends Foundation and learn more please visit www.surgicalfriends.org or call 310-562-3631

About Kami Parsa, M.D.
Dr. Kami Parsa is an oculoplastic and orbital reconstructive surgeon specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery around the eyes and face. His practice is located in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Parsa received his medical degree at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in Ophthalmology at USC, and his fellowship in Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, ranked the #1 eye hospital by U.S. News and World Report. Dr. Parsa is one of the co-founders of Surgical Friends Foundation.
Visit www.oculoplastic.info for more information.

For more information or to set up an interview contact:

Anne Kelly, Surgical Friends Foundation, Director of Planning & Marketing, 310-486-0443, info@surgicalfriends.org

Surgical Friends Live Auction

October 11th, 2010

Surgical_Friends_Auction

Surgical Friends’ Dr. Kami Parsa

September 18th, 2010

Dr. Kami Parsa | newbeautifuleyes.com
from Surgical Friends Foundation

By Sue Facter on September 16th, 2010

He may work in an upscale office on Roxbury Drive, but he gives his heart and soul to those who are in need, while he gets his well-manicured hands dirty from the trenches.

Surgical Friends was created in late 2009 by Dr. Kami Parsa, Dr. Jay Calvert and Dr. Andrew Ordon. After volunteering for 10 years on missions with other organizations, Parsa, an oculoplastic and orbital reconstructive surgeon with Roxbury Surgical Associates, thought the time had come. With two international trips under their belt — Cambodia in January; Haiti in July, his group plans to return to Haiti in February.

“If I could do this for a living I would drop everything and do it,” Parsa said. “I don’t think there is any monetary compensation that can replace the feeling that you get when somebody says thank you, that you never expected.

“There’s a huge need. There are lots of places that we can go, but since we have a good relationship with Hope Hospital in Port-au-Prince, we will return.”

The first time out, they saw about 40 patients and operated on six.

“We did not have the facility to do it all. Our next mission, we’re going to take all the instruments we need,” Parsa said. “The hospital wasn’t really built; it was under construction. We worked in a procedure room.”

He keeps up with his long-distance patients with hospital reports.

“[Americans] are so spoiled,“ he said. “Here, when you enter an operating room, you have everything you need for surgery. In Haiti, one of the anesthesia machines wasn’t working. We were limited with types of anesthesia, instruments and medications. But we took as much as we could from home because of donations for supplies.”

Parsa recognizes that the rest of the world has “forgotten” about Haiti, assuming “everything is fine.”

“It’s not; it’s a mess,” he said. “People are still living in tents; the level of poverty is unimaginable. We stayed at a hotel that was partially open, as part of it was damaged. “

Orden, a host on the Emmy Award-winning television show The Doctors, accompanied him. Part of their visit will air on the show.

“The people are all very grateful. This is the part of my field that I love” Parsa said.

Surgical Friends visited Cambodia for ten days, where they operated on 25 children.

“It was beautiful. In Cambodia, we taught two doctors how to do the Ptosis procedure (droopy eyelid),” Parsa said. “If it’s not treated, patients go blind. Since then, doctors have operated on an additional 50 kids. That’s how to pay this forward – to teach the local doctors.”

Parsa also does pro-bono work locally.

“We’re operating on a woman, born in Orange County, with congenital facial paralysis,” he said. “She lost her health insurance three years ago when she lost her job.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons Transform Lives in Cambodia

July 27th, 2010

Surgical Friends mission objective was to provide more than 30 victims of landmines in Cambodia with reconstructive plastic surgery. A team of skilled plastic and reconstructive surgeons performed these life altering procedures over the course of five short days. Friends Without a Border made the trip possible through their donations which covered the cost of the local Hospital, Supplies and Staff. Over the course of the plastic and reconstructive surgical teams stay, they provided the most serious cases with the proper medical surgical and aftercare. Great attention was given to training Cambodia’s medical team so they could continue to help the deformed people affected by the land mines.

in order for them to continue performing these procedures on the many patient’s in need. Ultimately the young land mine victims of Cambodia will have improved access to quality health care and skilled plastic and reconstructive surgeons as a direct result of the charity work performed by the team. Mission to Cambodia was a success!

People’s lives are transformed when you donate money. Any donation, large or small, paypal donate, will be used to improve access to quality healthcare for the people who need it the most. Unlike many organizations, our ultimate goal is to train and to empower developing world doctors to perform surgeries on their own for generations to come. When a patient is accepted into Surgical Friends Foundation, it is because they have exhausted all options, this is their last hope.With a small monthly donation, you can keep this hope alive.

Click here to see the video.

Surgical Friends work is chosen to be exhibited in Surgeon’s Hall Museum in Edinbugh UK

July 20th, 2010

Surgeons’ Hall Museum in Edinburgh UK is having an exhibit on the history and development of reconstructive surgery, Skin Deep: The Restoration of Form and Function. The exhibit is from Aug 5 2010 to April 2011. They have chosen Surgical Friends Foundation as one of the reconstructive surgery foundations to exhibit. Our Video on Elena and Andressa will be featured continuously for 8 months. It is a privilege and honor to be presented in this prestigious exhibit.
Click here for more details.

Patient – Andressa

Patient – Elena

SURGICAL FRIENDS FOUNDATION TAKES ON NEW CASES AND PROJECTS

May 27th, 2010

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.

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