SF Surgeon Helps Return Smiles In Pakistan
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
May 30, 2012 8:27 PM
Rif' At Hussain has been a plastic surgeon at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls for almost 40 years. He specializes in restoring the mouths and faces of children who have cleft lips and pallets.
“It fires you up to the point that it’s a high you cannot achieve any other way,” said Hussain.
But Hussain doesn’t only perform surgeries in South Dakota. A couple of times a year Hussain will travel over 7-thousand miles to Peshawar, Pakistan and fix cleft pallets free of charge.
“Every Human being has the right to look human. So, you want to restore them to that,” said Hussain.
But surgery in Pakistan can be a lot more problematic.
“I was doing a three and a half hour case and the power went out. And the back up generator broke down. So, I had somebody get a flash light and I kept going with a flashlight,” said Hussain.
The hospital where Hussian would help up to 12 kids a day sits only about ten miles away from the Afghanistan border.
But knowing how large of an impact Hussain will have on a handful of children makes the 28-hour plane ride and long days in surgery all worth it.
“When I operate on a child and I am able restore the child’s lip to normal, it's phenomenal,” said Hussain.
Rif’ At Hussain has brought smiles to the faces of hundreds around the world.