When Dr. Kristen Ferguson signed up for her church's annual mission trip, she had every intention of leaving her stethoscope at home.
"This wasn't set up to be a medical mission," said Ferguson. It was set up to rebuild a children's center."
Then she got a call from one of the managers of that children's center.
"She said there's this kid, and he can't talk. And I don't know what to do for him. Just come."
Compelled by here faith, she went, and was introduced to a young man named Satchian Basdeo. She immediately discovered that Satchian was suffering from a cleft lip. It's a mouth deformity that develops while the child is still in the womb, leaving them unable to speak properly.
"I spent two days trying to get him local care that was adequate and it simply was not available," said Ferguson.
So she asked his parents if she could bring him to her colleague, Dr. Michael Neumeister, in America. And they said yes.
"Sometimes they're a little bit larger in size than we might see here in North America, and that's what his concern was," said Neumeister. "In South America, they're treated later. So for instance, here, if a child is born with a cleft lip and palette, we see them immediately as they're born. We are consulted. We talk to the families. Sometimes we even see them before they're born."
Many have asked Dr. Ferguson.. what makes her so deeply committed to Satchian's success?
She says it's, "Love, just pure love. I took one look at him and just fell in love with him."
A final date for the surgery has not been determined. Doctors anticipate it will be within a month from today. Raising money for Satchian's expenses has been a community effort. If you wish to donate.. a special fund is set up at Marine Bank in Chatham. Just call and ask to speak with Jeff Owen.