Our second day on site was spent at Forest Home medical and dental clinic. Only a few minutes outside of the heart of Punta Gorda, the clinic was extremely well equipped. We had 6 dentist chairs, running water, fans, ample lighting and an eager team ready to treat children from the adjoining school and surrounding area. Unfortunately the crowds did not come in full force. We treated a steady stream of patients throughout the morning but on a whole the team was frustrated they could not provide dental care to a greater volume of children.
We did however meet Max. A special needs patient who brought with him an undeniable spirit that touched every team member he met. Waiting before the clinic opened was Max's family. They were one of the first to be treated but before Max was able to enter the patient chair he had to greet everyone he saw with a smile and a hug. He helped screen incoming patients, laughing and giggling with excitement throughout his visit. Luckily, Chrystalla Orthodoxou DDS, who specializes in patients with special needs, was able to offer Max premium care that he never could have received in his home village. To say that his family was thankful is a definite understatement.