Smile Train Has Rekindled Hope For Our Daughter Born With Cleft, Says Parents

By Lubem Gena, Abuja

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Josiah from Edo state is optimistic that the intervention of Smile Train in treating their daughter, Godslove, who was born with cleft lip and palate will change her life for the better.

The baby’s mother wept profusely when she saw her child with cleft lip and palate because it was a condition she had never heard of.

It came to her as a shock even though she religiously took all the routine supplements and medication during pregnancy. Hope was rekindled when a cross-section of staff in the Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja mentioned to her that there was a solution to her daughter’s cleft through an organization that could treat the condition.

“When I saw her face with a gap on the upper lip into the inside of her mouth, I started crying because I had never seen such a case before. One of the nurses told me that some children were born with the condition and referred me to the National Hospital in Abuja for treatment,” Mrs. Emmanuel the 34-year-old mother told a section of journalists.

“We were there (National Hospital Abuja) for about two weeks with no success because we went to a wrong section of the hospital due to misinformation, until I heard people discussing about Smile Train. I informed my husband who browsed about it and got some more details about the organization,” she further narrated.

On the reaction of people asking about the condition of her child, she said: “I am not even bringing her out for any neighbor to see because she can easily get infection.”

Cleft is a common birth difference whose cause is still unknown. It is however associated with environmental factors such as genetics, lack of sufficient folates, drugs and substance abuse even alcoholism. Children born with cleft experience difficulty in breathing, eating, speaking and hearing. If left untreated, the child is isolated and bullied unable to live a productive life.

On his part, Mr. Emmanuel said the birth was a great shock to the family because he waited to receive a healthy baby only to see his wife weeping over the birth of a child with cleft.

“After our daughter was born, I was also scared because I didn’t know the issue. When I saw our baby, I had to take my position as a husband making sure that I got my wife back on her feet. I encouraged her that the baby was alive, and she was alive was all I wanted,” narrated Emmanuel.

“My wife told me that she overheard some people talking about an NGO known as Smile Train. When I got home and did my homework around it, I couldn’t sleep. I sent an email to an address that was provided and to my surprise the following morning somebody called me. They said the person in charge was unavailable at that moment but would get back to me,” he added.

When Emmanuel, the 42-year-old father of two received the all- important call, his joy knew no bounds. He informed his wife and expressed readiness to see how much help they could receive.

“It feels like removing a burden off my shoulders. As a man, I think I can sleep with two eyes closed now. No matter what, it is a situation that they (Smile Train) can handle. I will not be running around for funds for treatment since it is free of charge. We have hope that something good can be done for our daughter,” Emmanuel said, relieved.

He however urged for more awareness about the cleft treatment by Smile Train.

“We could have saved some time and money had we known about this earlier, we are grateful all the same and happy that our child will have a beautiful smile,” said Emmanuel.

Smile Train is the largest global cleft-focused organization whose tremendous impact in the treatment of patients with the condition have carried out more than 1,500,000 surgeries in the world. In Nigeria, Smile Train has a network of 45 partner hospitals across the country, having started active programs in 2007 and creating smiles on over 30,000 beneficiaries.

Smile Train continues to dispel myths and misinformation about cleft, encouraging people to visit the nearest partner hospital for treatment.

Note: First published on News Headquarter via https://newsheadquarterng.net/smile-train-has-rekindled-hope-for-our-daughter-born-with-cleft-says-parents/ on 27th August, 2022

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