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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2018

| special To restore the joints, Wangerin’s team of specialists re- moved most of the bone in two operations. The surgeons then severed the mandible and tilted it forward so that it increased in size and also improved the appearance of the chin area. An unexpected situation arose when taking a blood sample. When the team inserted the needle and the blood began to flow, both the mother and daughter panicked. They had seen blood samples taken by prick- ing the fingertip, but never using a hypodermic needle. Now the rumours that Guisela had only been brought to Germany so that criminals could remove her organs seemed to be confirmed. However, with their scant grasp of the language and a great deal of empathy, the team was able to restore the necessary trust. The operations were a complete success. “Imagine, being able to finally touch your lips with your tongue again after 12 years,” recalled Wangerin. When Guisela stuck her tongue out for the first time, her mother burst into 74 prevention 1 2018 tears of joy. The fact that the family lives in the Andes at an altitude of almost 4,000 m means Guisela has a high red blood cell count and this hastened her recov- ery. Bastendorf restored Guisela’s teeth, as well as her mother’s, and in particular gave the girl the smile that nobody had been able to see before. From farewell to a new beginning Three months and countless smiles later, it was time to say goodbye. The thank-you party was attended by more than 40 people, all of whom had either directly or indirectly helped Guisela. Guisela thanked them shyly. A small town in southern Germany said auf Wiedersehen. The surgery did not just change Guisela’s appearance. Back in Peru, the girl immediately attracted the attention of her classmates. For hours, she talked about her ex- periences in Germany, a country so far away from her homeland. The young men suddenly started to make eyes at the pretty girl, and her class chose her as their speaker. She became interested in boys. For the first time in her life, Guisela fell in love and was loved back. Today, she lives happily with her husband and child in a house and has made her dreams come true. Meyer and Bastendorf supported the entire family with dona- tions, enabling them to reach a standard of living equiv- alent to the average enjoyed by people in Pucyura. While the family of six did not make use of the options to im- prove their education, Lorenza very gratefully accepted many other donations in kind, for example the property with road access, a gas stove and new furniture. An ac- quainted dentist takes care of the family’s oral health in Cuzco on a quarterly basis. Bastendorf and Meyer flew to Peru in November last year and through their trip saw for themselves that their help and their donations were worthwhile and had changed lives for the better. They also realised that they could not apply western European values, for example offering a better education, to Lorenza’s family. The fam- ily is happy with the modest life that they now lead. And what could be more important than having good health? Whether in Eislingen or in Pucyura, we can make a big difference with small gestures. Every day, all employ- ees in a practice can motivate patients to improve their oral hygiene. Every dentist and dental hygienist has the expertise and tools to ensure lifelong oral health for their patients. This must be the daily task of every dentist. Every employee can also do something for those who have not (yet) experienced this luxury. Anyone can help children like Guisela through donations, volunteer work and simply by sharing their stories. Readers who would like to start helping today are invited to visit the website of Förderverein Faziale Fehlbildungen,

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