Waisong is a cleft baby from an interior village in Assam. He belongs to a family living in extreme poverty. Most unfortunately, the community he belongs to blamed his mother for his cleft lip deformity. She was accused of either not following community traditions meant for women to follow during her pregnancy or that she has brought the curse from her paternal side. Humiliated and heart-broken the mother was not in a proper mental state for days following the birth of his son. Moreover ignorance about cleft and low support from family members resulted in neglect of little Waisong, and soon the baby was showing signs of malnourishment.
When Waisong was 5 months old his family heard about cleft surgery for the first time, but owing to the high cost involved and their poor economic condition, future seemed bleak for the little one. The village ASHA workers hearing about the cleft child met his parents and informed them about free cleft surgery being offered by Mission Smile. Yet the family wasn’t confident as they didn’t even have the money to travel to Mission Smile’s Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre (GC4). ASHA members assured the anxious parents that Mission Smile would bear their transport cost to the Guwahati center. Finally the mother was convinced and the family traveled to GC4 with little Waisong.
The mother was surprised to see so many kids with cleft lips waiting in queue to be treated just like her little Waisong. She realized that they’re not cursed at all and such cleft occurrences in children are common. Little Waisong received his surgery in due course and the happy family traveled back to their village. When asked how she felt after seeing her son post-surgery, the mother was elated! She has thanked us with a big smile and pledged that she will dedicate the rest of her life in motivating mothers she would found giving birth to cleft babies.
We wish her and little Waisong a smiling life ahead.
Mission Smile not only covers surgery cost but also offers free transportation to patients and their families who cannot afford the cost. In order to continue offering free cleft care in India we look forward to your donation.