Reflecting Gratefully for the Partnership and Impact of Michael and Frida Donner and the Barco’s Nightingales Foundation

By Jeff Whisenant, President and CEO, ReSurge International

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About this time last year, I was honored and humbled to be selected as the new CEO of ReSurge International. Since joining the organization in July, I have had the opportunity to visit many of our humanitarian service sites in developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. I have now witnessed the transformative impact of the reconstructive surgical care that our volunteers and international surgical partners provide to those in need

At each site, I saw patients – children and adults – receiving or waiting for care. I met grateful family members – mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers – eager for us to help their loved ones. I distinctly remember the expression on the face of one child’s mother when she saw her son, who had been born with cleft lip, after surgery. It was truly priceless, and one I will always remember.
In Vietnam last week, I met a brave boy who had been ridiculed because he was born with an additional thumb. He climbed up on the operating table and smiled at the nurses preparing him for surgery. Later, in the recovery room, a nurse specialized in recovery care lovingly sat with him as he began to awake. She assured him that all had gone well, and gave him a big smile, which he groggily returned.

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As I watched the patients and families, I reflected gratefully because I know all too well that our ability to help them and truly change their lives is only because of the support we receive from the community, from people like Michael and Frida Donner and organizations like the Barco’s Nightingales Foundation.

Since first partnering with our organization, Michael and Frida and the Barco’s Nightingales Foundation have underwritten more than 3,000 surgeries through ReSurge. As a result, the lives of thousands of children and their families have truly been transformed.
Michael was one of the first people I met when I joined the organization. His passion for helping others was clear and inspiring. It is a tremendous honor and privilege for ReSurge to partner with him, Frida and their foundation.