Yesterday, Smile Train was deeply saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Dr. Prashant Shrestha, a Smile Train partner surgeon working at B&B Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.
From the inception of his hospital’s partnership with Smile Train in 2006, Dr. Prashant worked tirelessly to provide free cleft surgery to the children of Nepal. He took Smile Train’s commitment to reach every child with a cleft to heart, organizing outreach camps that stretched into the remotest parts of the country. The members of his outreach team hiked for days at a time to reach children in less-trafficked areas and bring them back to Kathmandu for free cleft surgery.
Just last month, I had the opportunity to visit Dr. Prashant and his team in Kathmandu. I was invigorated by their unwavering commitment to Smile Train’s mission, which they identified with strongly and adopted as their own. Dr. Prashant was the embodiment of the Smile Train ideal: a highly skilled and professional surgeon who saw Smile Train partnership as an opportunity to give back to some of the least fortunate people in his country. He provided free cleft surgery to over 1,500 people in only five years. His team strived to provide comprehensive cleft care, including speech therapy and emotional outreach. The patients I saw during my visit were truly grateful; the look of gratitude in the eyes of the parents of younger patients was unmistakable and deeply affecting.
Dr. Prashant took great pride in all that he did for Smile Train, and we are tremendously sorry to lose him. Our deepest condolences go out to Dr. Prashant’s family and to everyone whose life he touched. His life will serve as a reminder of the importance of diligent and purposeful work.
Zachary Shuster, Program Associate, Smile Train