Dr. Nicholas Retson is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon from Indiana who gives freely of his time and talents to those in need. He started volunteering with Esperança in 2009 but has been traveling on surgical missions since 1990 and this week marks his 40th medical mission trip! He and his team will be in Nicaragua from August 2-9th helping children and adults who otherwise would not have access to medical care.
He has traveled to Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador and India to conduct countless free surgeries on children and adults in need.
As Dr. Retson recalls, “Every trip is eye opening for me. To see what being in the developing world really means and how they live on a daily basis puts everything in perspective. When I return home, my perspective is always different. I have met some of the nicest people in the world on these trips who are also some of the poorest people in the world. They have almost nothing, but they are always willing to share whatever they do have with others and the love for their children and families is inspiring.”
Dr. Retson could share countless stories but the children always stick in his mind. He remembers helping a 16 month old baby who was burned in an accident involving diesel fuel and many children born with cleft lips who would have never gone to school, without his help.
“You can’t turn away from that or forget their stories,” said Dr. Retson. “You can’t not want to go back and try to help as many people as you can, because you know no one else will.”
Tom Egan, president and CEO of Esperança noted, “While in Nicaragua this week, Dr. Retson and his team will serve 40-50 patients. Over the course of the last 14 years, Dr. Retson has provided an invaluable service. We are grateful for his dedication, commitment and continued service to our mission. We couldn’t do the work we do without doctors like Dr. Retson on board. Join us in congratulating him on a huge milestone and achievement!”