Queen's University

Anatomy students take on special operation for children's charity

[Ron Easteal's Anatomy 316 class]Ron Easteal's Anatomy 316 class recently raised funds to pay for surgery to correct a child's cleft palate.

The students in Ron Easteal’s Anatomy 316 class recently joined forces to put a smile on a child’s face.

Dr. Easteal was delivering a lecture about the palate to the class, made up of 280 students from a variety of faculties, when a discussion started about how cleft palates are fixed. Soon afterwards, the students devised a plan to raise the funds to pay for a child’s cleft palate surgery through a charity called Operation Smile.

“Once we found out the cost of the surgery – $240 – and realized proportionally how little this would cost each individual student, we thought the class would really enjoy the opportunity to affect someone’s life in such a simple and positive way,” says master’s student Trisha Scribbans.

The next time the class met, a collection jar was passed around and $240 was quickly raised. Students who didn’t have a chance to contribute during the first round were adamant about doing so, and by the time everyone donated, the group had raised $381.

The students used the money to buy items through the charity’s catalogue. The total amount raised - $381 - paid for one surgery, 25 IV starter kits, one antibiotic kit, one paid medication kit, and supplies for one exam station.

“We had no idea how far the money would go,” says master’s student Nicole Ventura. “We thought we might get the $240, but we really weren’t expecting to make more than $300.”

The students’ efforts and enthusiasm have been an inspiration to their instructor.

“I have been teaching for a whole pile of years, and it’s amazing to me that these students came together and took this to heart,” says Dr. Easteal. “It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

Operation Smile is a children’s charity that provides safe, effective reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities, including cleft lip and cleft palate.

For more information on Operation Smile, visit the website.

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Last updated at 4:28 pm EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
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