Operation Smile Thailand’s Medical Mission in Mae Sot


Shrewsbury’s Chris and Carol Simcox travelled to Mae Sot with six Year 13 students in support of Operation Smile Thailand’s (OST) medical mission. Upon arrival, the group was treated to a welcome dinner with the friendly and accommodating medical staff.

Ame, Proud, Helen, Kate, Aei and Genis took part in the entire process that patients go through prior to their operations for cleft lip, cleft palate, burns and other life-changing plastic surgery procedures. Starting from Screening Day which had 148 families arriving at Mae Sot General Hospital, our students accompanied patients from screening to photography and interviews, which allowed them to learn the patients’ stories and understand their journeys.

Throughout their stay, our Year 13s helped the staff to decorate the wards and assisted in making the patients comfortable. They also had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Apichai, the mission’s lead plastic surgeon and OST’s Regional Field Director, for a meaningful question-and-answer session. To cap the trip off, the group visited Mae Tao Refugee Camp’s Day Care Centre and spent time with younger students, who enjoyed the toys and games they brought.

“Our students were tremendous ambassadors for Shrewsbury. They all worked so very hard and threw themselves into every experience available,” said Mr Simcox. “This was a very emotional trip for the students and it was lovely to see them make real connections with others. Our students took great interest in the patients, listened to their stories and watched some of the patient's journeys from checking into the hospital to checking out. They all received certificates from Operation Smile and the staff was very impressed with them.”

Having undergone an enriching experience, our Shrewsbury students are certainly looking forward to joining more OST missions in the future.

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