Tense for a Reason

July 28, 2007

Yet Another Story to Make You Smile (Post #32)

Filed under: Smiles — Tense @ 11:30 pm

Hopefully, I’ve got some new night-owl readers along for the ride with me now, so let me ‘splain again why I’m here…  What follows is another story from my charity’s (The Smile Train) “Smiles” page on their website.  I never want to lose sight of why I decided to do this and why I’m determined to stick it out until 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, especially as I’m beginning to get really sleepy now.  These kids deserve to be able to smile when they’re happy, and they deserve a life free from persecution (and in some cases, abandonment).  And while I too was born with a cleft lip, I have no idea what they might go through if they don’t get access to these free repair surgeries; my parents loved me in spite of my physical deformity. Don’t forget, it’s never too late to donate.

Shivarudrayya (Shiva) was born with a severe cleft lip and palate in a very poor, rural area of Northern India. His father is a laborer who earns about 50 cents a day. But that’s when he can get work, which is usually only 10-15 days a month.
Shiva’s parents were in shock when Shiva was born with a massive cleft. They thought it was a curse and they blamed themselves. Local folklore states that clefts occur when a pregnant woman uses a knife during an eclipse.
Even worse, they did not know that cleftsShiva can be repaired until they came across an advertisement in the local newspaper that a neighbor read to them (they are both illiterate) about a Smile Train clinic in the nearby town.
Shiva was operated on by one of Smile Train’s best partners, Dr. K. Gopal Krishnan and his all-Indian medical team, at SDM College of Dental Sciences & Hospital in Dharwad, India. Since he was operated on when he was so young, Shiva was saved from many years of pain and heartbreak. And he will never develop the kind of speech impediment that is often impossible to correct in children who have their clefts repaired much later in life. He may never know how truly lucky he is.


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