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 Project Open Heart - VN 09/2011


Waiting Room

The Orange County Vietnamese American (OCVA) Lions club donates $2,550 to the Open Heart Project to help fund much needed facial reconstruction surgery costs for Vietnamese children with cleft lip and cleft palate type deformities. Headed by Dr. Sanford Ratner, Chief Oral Surgeon at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, the Open Heart Project team consists of a team of 3 doctors, including 2 UCLA residents have been making many medical mission trips to Vietnam over the past 5 years to perform facial reconstruction surgery for countless children with cleft lip type deformities. Dr. Ratner and his team usually spend a week in Saigon, VN during each medical mission, working up to 12 hours a day and performing as many surgical procedures as humanely possible. 100% of donated funds to the Open-Heart Project are strictly used to cover surgery and hospital costs in Vietnam since Dr. Ratner and the medical team have self funded all of their administrative expenses including airfare, hotel/lodging etc. The Open-Heart Project medical team will making a second medical mission trip this year to perform surgery for up to 60 Vietnamese kids. 

Upon receiving the $2,550 donation from OCVA Lions, which will help fund 17 surgeries ($150 per child), on September 1st, 2011, Dr. Sanford writes, “Dear OCVA Lions, On behalf of Open Heart Project, we thank you for sponsoring the hospital costs for our patients. We look forward to showing you the results of the September 2011 mission upon our return. We look forward to working with you in the future.” 


“I truly believe that we (OCVA Lions) are so blessed to be able to lend a helping hand to such a compassionate and benevolent humanitarian mission but this amount is so minuscule compared to the huge positive impact that these surgical procedures will have on these children since they are truly LIFE CHANGING operations”, states Michael Pham, the President of OCVA Lions.

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