Patient Stories

Coming Together for Their Child with Cleft

A family's embrace of a boy born with severe cleft conditions drives his mother's determination to ensure he has the best cleft care possible.

Care for Brighter Futures: Iris' Story, Part 2

Under the world-class care of Operation Smile Nicaragua's care centre volunteers, Iris finally receives the surgery she always deserved.

Care for Brighter Futures: Iris' Story, Part 1

After living with an untreated cleft lip and cleft palate for 11 years, Iris arrives at the Operation Smile Nicaragua care centre for free and comprehensive care.

Meet Genesis: Operation Smile Honduras' 5,000th Patient

On Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, Genesis became the 5,000th patient to receive surgery from Operation Smile Honduras!

Care for Brighter Futures: Luciana's Story

Soon after Luciana was born with a cleft, she became a patient at Operation Smile Colombia's care centre to receive safe, effective and timely surgery.

Care for Brighter Futures: Oscar's Story

Oscar was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, but today he's thriving thanks to ongoing care from Operation Smile Colombia's care centre in Bogotá.

"He is going to be a beautiful boy"

Greth Liseth was devastated when her son, Erick Manuel was born. She had never seen anything like a cleft lip or cleft palate, and nobody could explain why her "Manuelito" was born like that. She couldn’t breastfeed him, and she felt so helpless that she couldn’t feel love for her child.

When All Seems Lost, Hope Appears

Shocked and heartbroken when her baby Valeska was born with a cleft lip, Zorida received more discouraging news within the first moments of her daughter’s life. No sooner than learning that surgery was possible to repair Valeska’s cleft lip, the young Nicaraguan mother was told by doctors that the procedure would be far too expensive for her and Valeska’s father to afford. The couple was informed that more affordable, possibly even free, surgical treatments could be found in Managua — a six-hour bus trip from their hometown.

The Winner

U-Voice student volunteer Hidaya Abdulrahim shares the story of Ashenafi, a patient who received cleft surgery at Operation Smile surgical training rotations.

“Mummy, what happened?”

At school Rina was bullied so badly for her cleft lip and palate that she refused to go back. An Operation Smile medical mission in Cavite changed her life forever.


“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President