The Coast News Group

Fresh Start hosts final surgery weekend of 2012

CARLSBAD — Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, a Carlsbad-based nonprofit that provides free reconstructive surgery and other life-changing medical procedures to children suffering from physical deformities, held its final Surgery Weekend of 2012 Nov. 10 and Nov. 11.Over the span of two days, 12 children received reconstructive surgeries, six children received speech therapy, 11 children received laser treatments, and more had exams, consultations and other medical appointments.

These free services are provided by a team of volunteers – made up of San Diego’s top doctors, nurses, medical and dental professionals and more – to families who are unable to pay for the surgeries or have insurance that does not cover the cost of reconstructive procedures.

“We are happy to have been able to help out so many children this year become confident and happy, despite all they have gone through,” said Michelle Pius, Director of Major Gifts at Fresh Start. “This year we were able to provide more than 300 medical treatments at nearly $2 million of donated care for the patients. It is a great accomplishment and we can’t thank our volunteers enough for all they have done.”

A typical Surgery Weekend includes 9 to 13 major surgeries. All medical care is provided at the Fresh Start Clinic and at Rady Children’s Hospital. There are also consultations with new patients and evaluations of ongoing patients, plus postoperative appointments. Fresh Start patients often require extensive follow up and numerous surgeries, treatments and care to reach the best possible outcome. Through it all, Fresh Start is committed to maintaining long-term medical relationships with patients until their treatment is complete. Last year, the Surgery Weekend Program provided 1,473 medical treatments to nearly 400 patients.

For more information about Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, visit or call (760) 944-7774.