When little Yash came into the world, his father was overjoyed. This was his first child. He had been looking forward to this day for months. The whole family had been very excited to welcome their newest member. Joydev, Yash’s father, was very excited to hold his firstborn in his arms, but, when he saw his son’s face he was shocked. His little baby boy had a gash, splitting his upper lip in two. Joydev immediately knew something was wrong with his son and he rushed to the doctor for an explanation.
The doctor tried to calm the worried father and informed him that a cleft lip was quite common in the region and that the cleft could be corrected by surgery. For Joydev, however, there was no respite. He worked as a labourer and earned around Rs 9000 a month. His meagre income was barely enough to feed his family, surgery was out of the question. He returned home with a heavy heart.
A few days later when they brought the child home, Yash’s grandmother fainted seeing her grandchild’s face. The superstitious community blamed the child’s condition on a solar eclipse and held the mother responsible as well. Joydev and his wife’s misery were further compounded by Yash’s feeding problem. The cleft makes feeding difficult and finding the correct bottles is expensive as well. Joydev was very worried for his child and took him to a paediatrician. It was through the paediatrician that Joydev found out about Mission Smile’s free and comprehensive cleft care programme. He immediately brought his child to the nearest centre.
Yash was found fit for surgery and his cleft was corrected. Joydev couldn’t hold back his tears of joy when he saw his baby post-surgery. He thanked our medical team profusely before heading home.