In early May, Larry Ydens, M.D. volunteered with Operation Smile and took a mission trip to Grozny, Chechnya, Russia. This mission trip was considered a “local mission”, meaning it was staffed primarily by the Russian volunteers. In addition to these volunteers, Larry’s group included two international volunteers, a reconstructive surgeon from the UK and himself, an anesthesiologist residing in Colorado. As a team, they screened 80 children for surgery, ran 3 operating rooms for 4 days, and did a total of 60 surgeries. During his visit, Larry also had the chance to watch the celebration and fireworks of Freedom Day (end of WW2). After the mission, Larry traveled to the Caucuses mountains close to the border. Here he celebrated at the family home of one of the volunteers, and a world renowned maxillofacial surgeon, author, and former world Sambo (judo) champion.
This was Larry’s 15th mission trip with Operation Smile. He has truly dedicated the last 5+ years of his career to doing 4 missions a year with Operation Smile.