Facial deformities result in many challenging medical issues, including feeding problems, hearing loss, unintelligible speech and recurrent ear infections. But the social and psychological consequences that result are just as devastating.
The stigma of looking and sounding different leads to a very difficult and lonely life. Often, peers, communities and even relatives shun lovable and loving children, ashamed of their appearance and speech and powerless to affect positive change. Some are hidden away in locked rooms, deprived of education, medical care and any socialization with the outside world.
These children can be helped. With adequate funding, they can receive the treatment and care they need to eat, speak and look more like other members of society, enabling them to lead normal, happy, and productive lives.
Success Story: Dunia Sibomana
Jane Robi – Birthday: January 4th, 2006 – 7 years old – Nyamagongwi Village
Jane Robi is the first born of four children. She was born with an abnormal, pulsating growth superior to her nose, in between her eyes. The growth is currently the size of a golf ball, however, it has grown over the years with respect to her age. Due to the high expenses and lack of adequate medical care in her village, Jane has not been able to receive a proper evaluation of the growth. Jane’s father, a polygamist, currently neglects Jane and her mother due to the growth, leaving them with no source of income. Fortunately, Jane is currently a student in class 2 attending Nyamagongwi Primary School. They would be eternally grateful for any form of medical assistance to evaluate and diagnose the growth.
Success Story: Saline Atieno
One of Smile Train’s regional directors contacted Leon about support for Saline after meeting her on a recent trip. Saline’s parents heard of a Smile Train visit and went to the local hospital hoping that the cost of Saline’s surgery would be covered. Unfortunately, her condition was too severe to be funded by any of the world-known charities.
The Smile Rescue Fund for Kids sprung into action, working it out for Saline to come to New York and have her surgeries conducted by Dr. Alexander Degum, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Stony Brook Hospital on Long Island in New York. With his help, along with many generous volunteers and donors in the area, Saline had all the surgeries she needed and is back at home.
With the financial support of donations from the Smile Rescue Fund for Kids, Saline graduated from Beauty School and is now self-sufficient working and living in Nairobi.