Billington resident and Royal Blackburn Hospital scrub nurse Melissa Kelly will travel to India with the Northern Cleft Foundation, to help children and adults who would not normally have access to highly specialised surgery.
The NCF is a UK based charity which runs an annual trip to the Indian city of Nagpur, performing cleft lip and palate operations.
In January 2013, thanks to generous donations, the team operated on 121 children and adults, at an approximate cost of £130 per person. With patients travelling over 200 miles to receive treatment in some cases, the charity also covers hidden costs such as return travel to the hospital that may otherwise be a barrier to receiving care.
Each year, a team of medical and nursing volunteers from the UK embark upon the trip to provide life-changing operations which will see a brighter future for the patients who desperately require surgery.
Each volunteer must contribute £1,500 to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses for the trip, as well as covering the cost of five individual operations for patients, which in turn means that all money donated to the charity goes directly towards helping as many people as possible.
Melissa commented: “I am looking forawrd to the trip as this is the first time I have been part of the team, though I have sponsored other colleagues who have taken part previously. Any donations or fund-raising ideas would very gratefully received!”