Countdown to Vietnam: Flecher Fleurdejon

The IEP team is getting ready for our next mission to Vietnam in December. Over the next few weeks, we'll post thoughts from team members as they prepare. 

Today's post is from Flecher Fleudejon, our amazing video guru and documentarian. Check out his videos from previous missions.

I’m gearing up for my sixth journey over to Vietnam to assist IEP.  It’s difficult to describe the feeling of getting ready to go on the trip, but incredibly easy to talk about what it feels like coming home. I guess you could say I get butterflies in my stomach. My name is Flecher and I am one of the photographers for IEP.  

So much happens on an IEP mission and so many people are affected in such a great way. But it really all boils down to that one kid who comes into the screening area, sorta scared, not really knowing what is happening. He can barely walk or maybe not at all because both his feet are turned inward from polio. We see this kid go through the stages of the transformation so up close and personal, so vulnerable, so real. 

I can easily get tossed into a roller-coaster ride of feelings. One minute I'm focused and working hard, and the next I'm crouched in a corner of the hospital hallway crying. 

A few days later, you see him drift off to sleep on the operating table and you can’t help but not share his fright and you shed a couple of tears with him. Everything is about to change for him. 

Nearing the end of our mission is when the waves of turbulent emotion turn into incredible highs of joy and happiness as you say goodbye to that one kid. You see the casts on his legs and know that his feet have been straightened where before they were turned in and getting worse with each passing year. 

I’ve seen numerous cases like this, so I know from experience that this boy's whole life just took an incredible turn for the better. 

Like I said, I’m going again to work for IEP to help people who need it. But maybe I’m really going to selfishly feel that feeling again of unplugging from my usual routine and simply being of service to people. It feels so good.

Flecher at work in the operating room.