LWB Community Blog

Transformations From the 2014 Cleft Exchange

LWB’s 2014 Cleft Exchange, held in April 2014, was a huge success. Thirty children received cleft lip or palate surgery performed by our very talented surgeons from the United States. The Exchange was a combined effort put forth by our American doctors, nurses, and volunteers, alongside the doctors and nurses from Kaifeng Children’s Hospital.

Just look at the precious faces of the children who left the hospital two months ago with a new chance at a healthy life.  Here are a few before and after surgery photos and updates:


Winston is six months old and has recovered beautifully from his cleft lip surgery one month ago. Winston has been a resident of LWB’s Anhui Healing Home since he was one week old, which helped him get strong and healthy enough to have surgery during the Exchange. Dr. Ness performed Winston’s surgery on day two of the Exchange and did a wonderful job. Since his surgery Winston has been a bit more needy and wanting to be cuddled by his nanny. He is a social and happy little boy with a handsome new smile.

Ted B & A 2

Ted kept smiling right on through his recovery. Now 17 months old, he recently learned to walk and drink through a straw. His speech is already showing signs of improvement.

Robert Owen B & A 2

Robert Owen is celebrating his first birthday with his new smile. This little guy is healthy and strong. During his recovery he learned to fake a whimper to get scooped up by his nanny.

Vicente B & A 2

Vincente has a handsome new smile, doesn’t he?  This little guy has always struggled to put on weight. At 15 months old he is finally up to 15 pounds and doing well.


Twenty-two year old Robin also received surgery during the Exchange. Robin has grown up in an orphanage in southern Guangdong Province. When a young woman who was adopted by an American family returned to her home orphanage, she met Robin and decided to do what she could to help Robin get the surgery and orthodontic care she needed to have a more normal appearance and thrive as she enters adulthood. Dr. Tolan performed a complex rhinoplasty on Robin’s nose, giving her a whole new look. He also performed a Pharyngeal Flap (P-Flap) surgery on her soft palate so that she could speak more clearly. Sweet Robin was in a lot of pain her first few days after surgery, but she is becoming more confident with her new look. We won’t get to see the full effect of her surgery for a few more months as she continues to heal. Once she is fully healed, we will also help arrange for Robin to receive orthodontic work on her teeth.

Aimee & Harley

Aimee and Harley are preschoolers from our Believe In Me school program at their orphanage in Guangdong Province. Both children have had to wait a long time with severe clefts to finally have their chance at a new smile. These two were a delight the whole week. They were quick to smile and always so happy to socialize with visitors. Their cleft repairs were very complex but as the swelling goes down, they will have wonderful new smiles.


We hope that having their lips repaired will help both Aimee and Harley be adopted by a family of their own soon.

Aimee_and_Harley-1 Harley and Aimee wanted to try on the doctor’s glasses. Here they are sporting their new look.

Thank you to our generous donors and amazing doctors and volunteers for helping change thirty precious lives!

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