Cary doctor helps offer relief in Africa - WNCN: News, Weather

Cary doctor helps offer relief in Africa

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CARY, N.C. -

A Cary plastic surgeon just returned from south Sudan, where she worked with Samaritan's Purse to repair cleft lips.

Cramped in a small room, Dr. Cynthia Gregg helped change lives in south Sudan.

"We were able to do 90 cases in six days," Gregg said.

Exhausting, but rewarding, is how Gregg describes her trip, repairing 90 cleft lips in a small village hospital.

"There were some very extreme cases, and our patients aged from 6 months to 60 years of age," she said. "We had several mom and dad and children come in with the same defect."

Gregg operated on the little boy while another surgeon operated on his mom just a few feet away.

"So we had one small room with three tables going at all times," she said.

 They operated 12 hours a day with no hot water.

But Gregg said it was life-changing, especially for children who live in a culture  where defects are scorned.

"We had eight children who came in who were actually given the name ‘deformed' - their name was ‘deformed.'"

After the surgery, the local pastor came by and said, ‘Today is the day for your new name.'"

That re-naming ceremony was an emotional one. One little boy was named David and another Matthew James as a one-hour procedure changed their entire lives.

Gregg will take another medical trip to Kenya to repair cleft lips and palates in July.

Melanie Sanders

Melanie anchors the 6 PM news. Her "What's Next" series features an engaging approach to storytelling and highlights the leaders in innovation who are shaping our future. Check it out HERE! More>>

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