PRESS RELEASE April 12th 2011
Contact: Suzanne Foley
. FOR IMMEDIATE
Email: email@example.com RELEASE
Dr. Lawrence Gray’s volunteer surgery mission in Guatemala
and report of one child’s arduous journey
Portsmouth, NH –Dr. Lawrence Gray has just returned from a two-week volunteer trip
to Retalhuleu, Guatemala sponsored by Rotary Clubs in the U.S. and Guatemala. Dr.
Gray participated in a medical group who performed over 100 life changing cleft lip
and palate surgeries on children from infancy to 18. Children with cleft lips face being
ostracized due to their appearance. Children with cleft palates have difficulty speaking
and eating. The corrective surgeries radically improved their lives.
The families of the children showed enormous devotion in their determination to obtain
the reconstructive surgery for their children. Some families traveled up to 16 hours by
bus to arrive at the clinic. One family walked three hours just to arrive at a bus stop.
The especially arduous journey of two-year-old Antony and his family began five
months before the arrival of the Rotaplast mission, when Antony’s mother, and her
husband attempted to sell their truck to pay for cleft palate surgery locally for their son.
The family was attacked by a gang demanding money, but not having enough money
to satisfy the thieves, the gang opened fire. Both parents and Antony were hit, but
Antony’s father died. A bullet had entered one side of his jaw, exited the other side
and lodged in his son’s shoulder.
All were left for dead.
Antony and his mother were picked up and taken to a hospital where they received
medical attention. The assailants were captured and a trial was held in Guatemala
City. Other gang members threatened the lives of Antony, his mother and his
grandmother, because the elderly woman attended the hearings pleading for justice
for her dead son. One assailant faces 50 years in prison for murdering Antony’s father
and 25 years for the attempted murder of Antony.
Learning of the Rotaplast surgical mission, Antony and his mother made their way to
Retalhuleu. Antony was seen on pre-clinic day, was accepted and scheduled for
surgery the next day. In the OR, Antony did not respond well to the anesthesia and
surgery was stopped. The child needed to be on antibiotics for at least five days
before surgery could be attempted again.
But, Antony and his mother lived too far
away to leave and return. The compassionate mission staff pooled enough money for
the mother and child to secure a hotel and meals until Antony could be re-evaluated
for surgery the following Monday. After 5 days, Antony was cleared for surgery and
underwent a successful cleft palate revision. The long ordeal was over.
Dr. Gray has participated in 8 other reconstructive surgery missions to Chile, Argentia,
Ecuador, Vietman, and Venezuela. In each country, the clinic staff, as they struggle to
take care of as many cases as possible, learn of formidable situations and conditions
faced by both children and adults with facial deformities. Dr. Gray, and all the
medical and support staff on these missions, find the experience of helping the
children, adults and their families to be life changing for both patient and staff.
About Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center:
Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center is the practice of New Hampshire plastic surgeon, Dr. Lawrence N. Gray, in
practice here since 1985. He has earned a great deal of respect in both his local medical community and the
national plastic surgical community through his many publications, technical skill and personal demeanor. Dr.
Gray is nationally and internationally recognized as the inventor of Scarless Breast Reduction, a revolutionary
procedure that eliminates scars associated with the older, traditional method of breast reduction. He has a large
following of satisfied patients from across New Hampshire, the United States and a number of foreign countries,
who have sought him out for breast augmentation and scarless breast reduction.
Additionally, Dr. Gray is a core investigator for the Mentor and Silimed silicone breast implant studies. Dr. Gray
received the significant honor of being the only investigator for the Silimed Corporation’s Silicone study, which is
pending FDA approval. Dr. Gray is expected to be the only source for adjustable silicone implants soon. Dr.
Gray has taught at educational conferences for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and is the
only member of the International Society of Plastic Surgeons from New Hampshire.