On November 30th, Smile Train officially announced surpassing 700,000 surgeries. Seven-month-old Wina Anugrah was selected as a representative of this amazing “smilestone.” This is her story.
Jakarata, Indonesia — Despite hard living conditions, Willem and Asima were ecstatic when Asima became pregnant with their second child. They began to put aside the little money they could spare in anticipation of their new daughter’s arrival. However, during the second month of pregnancy, their joy turned to despair, frustration, and fear when Willem was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor.
The money they had saved for Wina’s birth had to be used alongside loans from family, friends, and his employer for Willem’s cancer treatment. As his cancer worsened, Willem weakened and had to quit his job. Asima explained to our partner hospital, “my entire family was so sad. My husband was too weak to do anything and I had to open a little market in front of our house to try to pay for food and his care.” After nine months, Asima had still not given birth and the doctor decided she would need to undergo a Caesarean section.
Willem was no longer strong enough to go to the hospital and could not be by his wife during her surgery — when Wina was born with a cleft lip and palate. “When my husband saw Wina, he cried. He thought it was his fault because he had a tumor.” They tried to remain strong and push forward with the help of their extended family, but three months after Wina was born, Willem passed away.
With the loss of her husband, Asima’s sorrow returned ten fold as her daughters would grow up without their father and Wina would have one less loving parent to help her in a world that looked down upon her for her birth defect. This past fall, a social worker volunteering for Smile Train partner Bandung CLP-Center in Bandung Santosa Hospital arrived at Asima’s door. Wina was enrolled at the hospital and recently underwent free cleft lip surgery and is scheduled for palate surgery when she is a few months older.
Sadly, Wina will grow up without her father, but thanks to our partner hospital, she has a new smile and will not have to face a life of torment and ridicule for how she was born. For Asima, the world was finally starting to lighten again, “Thanks to Jesus Christ for this miracle and to Bandung CLP-Center and Santosa Hospital and the team who helped my daughter. Thanks to Smile Train donors and Dr. Koeswara Amoes who performed Wina’s surgery. I hope my husband can see our beautiful daughter in Heaven and can feel this happiness too.”