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Cary surgeon fixes smiles during 'most gratifying' trip to Africa

Posted November 27, 2013

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— A Cary surgeon gave about 90 people a reason to smile recently when she traveled to Africa and performed surgeries to fix their cleft lips and palates, a congenital illness that leaves people’s mouths disfigured.

“They’re considered cursed, possessed by evil spirits. They’re picked on. As an adult, they can’t get a job. They’re abused,” said Cynthia Gregg, a facial/cosmetic surgeon.

Dr. Cynthia Gregg Cary doctor travels to Africa to help those with cleft palates

Gregg traveled to South Sudan a few weeks ago with a team from Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse to provide the facial surgery for people who don’t have health care. She and six other U.S. doctors worked 12-hour days.

“We did 90 surgeries in six days. The year before, 78. The year before that, 41. We just made a dent,” Gregg said. “It’s a life-changing event for them, and it takes an hour and a half of my time. It’s hard to put into words how tremendous that is.”

Missionary pilots donated their time to fly the patients to a hospital where Gregg and the team were waiting.

“I love what I do, but this trip is the most gratifying of my life,” Gregg said. 

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  • scubagirl2 Nov 27, 2013

    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to have something negative to say.......

    This is a GREAT story. My brother used to do the anesthesia for trips that did the very same thing in Romania years ago....I truly think it did more for him than he did for those they helped....

  • jonstewartrules Nov 27, 2013

    Great story. Wish we could get some dentists to visit Western NC and help out HERE.

  • Conservative Nov 27, 2013

    That is wonderful. Your entire team has made a big difference in 90 lives!

  • nerdlywehunt Nov 27, 2013

    What a great message for the holidays...........

  • cookie998 Nov 27, 2013

    I love this story - thank you Dr. Gregg!!

  • st5937 Nov 27, 2013

    SUCH A GREAT STORY.KEEP IT UP

  • 1775 Nov 27, 2013

    Awesome! God bless.

  • Pepe Silvia Nov 27, 2013

    Bravo!!

  • sophiemom Nov 27, 2013

    That is wonderful.