Last week an older gentleman came back to be seen for his post-operative evaluation. I was called out of the recovery room to clean his lip before being seen by the surgeon and having his photos taken. I walked out into the waiting area and saw quite a few adult men sitting, walked further into the room and was looking all around for a man who looked one week post-op but was having no luck. Finally I found the patient care coordinator and asked her where the patient had gone and she pointed to the man who was sitting about 3 feet from me. I was in total disbelief! I knew I recognized a few of the men there, but I was blown away by the fact that just one week after having his (huge) cleft lip repaired I couldn't even tell he had surgery. I just had to talk to him and see if anyone else in his life felt the same sense of disbelief I did. I brought over one of the student volunteers and he told me that indeed, many people in his village did not recognize him. I asked if this was a good or bad thing, was he happy with the surgery. He answered simply "It's as if I am a different man from one week ago, not just in my face or the way that people don't know I am me when I cross the street but it is my whole life that feels different." He pressed his two hands together, raised them to his chest, bowed his head and ended with "Namaste."

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