Saptika (10 months old) is the only child of Soumen Das and Priyanka Das of Majigara, a small village in North 24 Parganas of West Bengal. Saptika was born with Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate on the Bengali New Year’s Day. Though she was born with both cleft deformities, her laughter filled the home and she was a source of joy to the family. The family accepted her as a gift of God. Saptika’s father asserts, “She is the most adorable girl in our village and she is also the most loved member in our family”.
After her birth in Jawahar Lal Nehru Hospital in Kalyani, she was taken to many hospitals in Kolkata but her parents were not able to find out the hospitals where she could receive free surgery. As months passed, it became difficult for Saptika to eat and drink properly due to the Cleft Palate.
On the other hand, Saptika’s father, Soumen being an unemployed that time, her grandfather was the sole bread earner for the family. Therefore, with a meagre income it was very difficult for the family to afford surgery on their own.
When Saptika was just 6 months old, the family came to know about Mission Smile and its free Comprehensive Cleft Care surgeries from a leaflet. Initially, Saptika’s family took her to the Medical Mission of Mission Smile on 22nd November, 2015 in Kolkata. The family were surprised to see so many children with the same deformity which brought hope for them that the surgery would help their child to recover fully. Her lip surgery was successfully conducted in Kolkata Medical Mission.
Saptika was brought again by her parents for cleft palate surgery on 25th February, 2016 at our Outreach Centre, NH Hospital Barasat. She was found fit for surgery and provided the needed surgical care.
Now, with both her deformities are corrected, Saptika is able to eat and drink properly and continues to bring joy to her family. She has now started making noise from her mouth. Before leaving for their journey back, her father thanked J Thomas & Company for helping their daughter Smile!
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