João Pessoa, Brazil — Born in a poor seaside community, Jandira da Silva grew up self–conscious and insecure. So much so that she didn’t like spending time with other people — all because she was born with a cleft lip.
Like many people in Brazil, and around the world, Jandira wasn’t aware that clefts can be repaired. When she finally discovered it was possible for her to smile like everyone else in her village, she was apprehensive. Looking back on how lonely her life had been, she chose to have the cleft surgery that her family never could have afforded. At the age of 17, her life changed forever when she had her cleft repaired. For the next few years, Jandira continued to receive free follow–up care at Smile Train partner hospital Instituto de Fissura Labiopalatal da Paraiba.
Jandira received not only a new smile, but a new outlook on life.
Today, she is married and a mother of an eight-month-old boy who is her greatest pride and joy! According to Jandira’s own words,
Before I was closed to life, if I knew, I would have married before! My husband is a good man, my son is perfect and my family is happy!”