Ednah Wambani was shocked when she saw her infant son’s cleft lip, especially since she had given birth to four healthy children previously. She had seen other children with unrepaired clefts, but couldn’t imagine that one of her children would be born with a cleft. During the first few months, Ednah said that her neighbors in Kamasielo, Kenya would walk by the house and laugh at her baby. She was so upset that she never let David out of the house.
A year later, Ednah took David to a local clinic for a check-up. The clinic staff told Ednah that David’s cleft lip was a solvable problem and that there was a Smile Train partner hospital only four miles away. She knew she would never be able to afford David’s cleft surgery on her grocery clerk salary, but after a short evaluation she was overcome with joy to find that David was eligible for a Smile Train sponsored free cleft surgery.
When surgery day arrived, Ednah carried David on her back for the four mile trip because she did not have money for transportation. The moment David emerged from the operating theater she said that it all was worth it because now her baby would not have to live in shame.
On a recent follow-up visit to the Smile Train partner hospital, Ednah reported, “The village has stopped laughing at us, everyone was delighted to see how healthy David looks – now he will be included in our village society.”