Smile Train Surgeons and a Beauty Queen Deliver Smiles in Vietnam

Little Corn Maize before and after his Smile Train surgery.

Little Corn Maize before and after his Smile Train surgery.

Hanoi, Vietnam—Nine-month-old Do Tran Gia Bao, affectionately known as Corn Maize by his family, was born in Hanoi, Vietnam. His parents were thrilled when they found out Corn Maize’s mother was pregnant as they had wanted children for many years. Both maternal and paternal families were happy and encouraging when he was born, which was very important as Corn Maize was born with a cleft lip and palate.

The entire family frantically searched for a solution to Corn Maize’s birth defect. None of them had ever heard of cleft lip and palate, let alone seen one.

One day a solution came. While she was working at a spa, Corn Maize’s aunt fortunately had a very special customer: Miss Vietnam. After listening to the aunt describe Corn Maize’s condition and the efforts the family had gone through to help the baby boy, Miss Vietnam decided to seek treatment for Corn Maize.

The only memory the family has of Corn Maize before surgery is on his father's phone.

The only memory the family has of Corn Maize before surgery is on his father’s phone.

The beauty queen contacted many places and was given information about Smile Train. She quickly motivated Corn Maize’s parents to bring their child to Smile Train partner Vietnam Cuba Hospital located in Hanoi, letting them know their son would be in good hands and that the surgery was completely free. According to Corn Maize’s parents “the compassionate surgeons returned the face of their child to smiles and laughter.”

The Smile Train surgeons were equally impressed with the parents as the scar from Corn Maize’s surgery healed very quickly because they rigorously followed the surgeons’ directions for their son’s postoperative care.

Before his Smile Train surgery, Corn Maize’s parents did not leave the house with their new baby boy as they were worried about the reaction of strangers. Now though, they can’t stop showing their happy little boy off! Corn Maize will soon have another surgery to fix his palate, but his father’s only memory of Corn Maize’s first surgery is a photo he took with his phone right before he took his little boy to the hospital. Now the family says they enjoy limitless happiness and believe “there is nothing more beautiful than a smile that has overcome a lot of tears.”

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