September 23, 2021 by John Fernandez and Bethany Rundell
Watch Now: Day of Smiles to Change Lives
(VIDEO: Gabriela Trimarchi and her doctors share the story of her transformation through the Baptist Children’s Hospital “Day of Smiles”)
Gabriela Trimarchi is like most typical 16-year-olds. She enjoys school and loves staying connected with friends and family on social media. But until one year ago, there was something that was bothering her. A “port wine stain” — a birthmark that creates a reddish-purplish discoloration — on her lower cheek and neck, and swelling of her lower lip, made her the object of occasional stares and unfriendly comments. That all changed when Gabriela was accepted in Baptist Children’s Hospital “Day of Smiles.”
For 14 years, the Day of Smiles has been helping the South Florida community by providing free corrective surgeries for children. Volunteer teams of specialists come together to treat multiple patients with a variety of procedures. Some of the conditions that heave been treated in he past include cleft palates, cleft lips, scars, tumors, burns, ear deformities, port wine birthmarks and congenital hand deformities. These operations will be provided at no cost for children whose families are unable to pay for these types of services.
Gabriela encourages other families to take advantage of this life-changing opportunity.
The Baptist Health South Florida News Team was there as Gabriela visited Baptist Children’s Hospital. Watch it now!
To be eligible, patients must meet certain surgical and financial criteria. Patients must be 18 years old or younger and residents of Miami-Dade, Broward or Monroe County. A detailed financial screening must take place before the clinical screening on May 30. To make an appointment for the financial screening, call Baptist Children’s Hospital at 786-596-3673 or email InesNis@baptisthealth.net.