Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – A nurse at Cho Ray Hospital happily carried newborn Hong Binh An from the maternity ward to the room where his parents were staying, only to find it empty. The baby’s parents were gone along with all of their belongings as if they had never been there. She never knew why they abandoned their newborn son at the hospital, whether they feared that Binh An’s cleft was an evil omen or were afraid that they wouldn’t be able to take care of him; only that they were gone and the baby she held in her hands had no home to go to because of his cleft lip.
Luckily, the hospital’s compassionate staff took it upon themselves to take care of Hong Binh An at the maternity ward until he was old enough to be taken to a nearby orphanage. Hong Binh An’s curiosity and playfulness quickly won the hearts of everyone at the orphanage. At 8 months old, he was finally strong enough for surgery and two of the orphanage’s staff brought Binh An to Smile Train partner hospital Benh Vien Nhi Dong II.
On July 4, 2011, Binh An received free cleft lip surgery under the skilled hands of Dr. Luu Dinh Tru. After a few days of recovery, Binh An was discharged to the orphanage, his new smile matching his curious and outgoing personality. Thanks to Smile Train donors and our local partner hospital, he has been given a second chance at a normal life. The staff at the orphanage know that with his new smile, Binh An will soon be adopted by a loving family.