Ready for Cleft Surgery!
Surgeries begin one week from Monday on our 2014 Cleft Medical Exchange! We would like to introduce you to some of the children who will be having surgery.
Little Winston entered our Anhui Healing Home when he was a newborn. Now four months old, Winston has gained enough weight to have his cleft lip surgery. Winston is attached to his nanny and cries when she leaves his sight. He recently learned to roll over and likes to play with toys that make noise.
Sixteen-month-old Jennifer lives at an orphanage in Gansu Province where we recently opened a Believe In Me school. When she was visited last month by Amy Eldridge and Maureen Brogan, she was terrified at the sight of the Americans. Maureen was able to get close enough to check Jennifer’s cleft lip and found that it is very complex. Her prolabium (the tissue under her nose) bulges forward and is very tough, which will make it harder to repair. Maureen showed Jennifer’s nannies how to massage the tissue to prepare it for surgery. We do hope Jennifer can have a beautiful repair next week.
Handsome Freddie was a resident of Anhui Healing Home as a baby and now lives in our foster care program in Anhui. Freddie is described as adventurous, athletic and curious. At three-and-a-half years old, Freddie can speak in short sentences, but he doesn’t speak clearly due to his open cleft palate. Freddie will have surgery to close his palate, which will help him learn to speak appropriately and prepare him to do well in school.
Baby Joy is only two months old and lives with her family in a very rural part of China. When she was born, her family was surprised to discover she had cleft lip and were afraid they wouldn’t be able to afford the medical care she needs. Fearing that her parents would relinquish her to help her get medical care, Joy’s aunt contacted us and asked for help. Thankfully, the promise of providing for Joy’s surgery and encouragement that she’ll get a wonderful repair has reassured this young family to keep and raise their daughter.
Vicente recently celebrated his first birthday. Vicente was born prematurely and made his way to our Starbridge Healing Home in Henan Province. However, despite receiving wonderful care, Vicente struggled to gain weight. We sought the help of New Hope Foundation, an organization with whom we work closely, and Vicente was moved to their Healing Home in Luoyang where a doctor is on the premises. Now several months later, Vicente is finally getting chubby and ready for his cleft lip surgery.
Right now we have about 25 children lined up for surgery. They will be travelling from as far away as Guangdong, Gansu and Inner Mongolia to receive wonderful repairs by our doctors. The children begin arriving in Kaifeng on April 19th, and surgeries begin on the 21st. Please keep the children, their nannies and our volunteers in your thoughts and prayers.