Tense for a Reason

July 29, 2007

One More Precious Smile (Post #40)

Filed under: Smiles — Tense @ 3:30 am

Kabir after

Kabir was born with a bilateral cleft lip and this had a devastating impact on his appearance. Whenever his mother took him out in public, they were the subject of curious stares and ridicule. So, looking out for her son’s best interests, Kabir’s mother kept him hidden away at home.
In Nigeria, as in most developing countries, many people think clefts are an evil curse and a bad omen. Many babies born with clefts are immediately abandoned. The families are afraid that the cleft will end up ruining all of their lives. Kabir’s mother never considered abandoning her son, but at the same time she was very fearful for their future. Sitting together on the dirt floor of the small hut they call home, Kabir and his mother had no plan and no hope for the future. Until they heard about The Smile Train.
One day, a family friend told them about an amazing program at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Zaria, Nigeria. It was sponsored by The Smile Train and was offering free cleft surgery to poor African children who could not afford it. Soon, Kabir and his mother were sitting face-to-face with Smile Train partner surgeon, Dr. Emmanuel A. Ameh who explained that little Kabir’s cleft could be fixed through surgery. In addition, since Kabir was only 7 months old, his cleft would be fixed before he developed any speech problems.
Suddenly, Kabir went from being a 7 month-old shut-in with no future to a very lucky little boy. His surgery went very well and the result is inspiring. Today, his mother takes him everywhere she goes and she will never forget how both of their futures were changed by a surgery that took less than an hour.

Precious babies make this staying up all night worth it. For every 250 dollars raised, one poverty-stricken child receives a free cleft lip or cleft palate surgery. We’ve almost raised enough for 2 children to have complete repairs! It’s still not too late to donate… But only 4-and-a-half hours left!

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