Operation Smile, Inc.

Operation Smile, Inc.

The Impact of One, Changes the Lives of Many
Photo Caption
Herve lived with an untreated cleft lip for 24 years before learning about Operation Smile
Photo Credit
Operation Smile

If someone had told 24 year old Herve two years prior that he’d be married, free of the burdens of his cleft condition, he may not have believed it. But now, after receiving life-changing surgery from Operation Smile, Herve’s life has been irrevocably changed for the better.

When Herve was born, his family was given no explanation about his cleft condition. Many in his community had never seen anyone with a cleft lip before. The lack of access to information about the potential causes of cleft conditions resulted in Herve being ostracized and bullied by his peers throughout his childhood.

Herve wasn’t aware that a solution existed, let alone that it could be provided to him for free by a team of highly trained medical volunteers.
Life continued to become more difficult for Herve as he got older. He eventually got married, but unable to move past the reality being married to someone with an untreated cleft condition, Herve’s wife eventually left him.

Cemented to the hope that he would one day find someone who loved him unconditionally, Herve threw himself into his job, working long hours farming rice and cassava fields. The person who remained by his side through these challenging years was his good friend Christine. She was there for him as he dealt with his separation from his wife and coped with the isolation that one with a cleft condition often faces. Over the months, Herve grew to love his friend.

Christine was even by his side on the monumental day when Herve met Fidelis.

Fidelis, whose son was born with a cleft condition, was a patient advocate, volunteering to raise awareness of parents like him about the organization that had made life-changing surgery possible for his son.

As a patient advocate, Fidelis shares his story to all who will listen as he travels to remote communities across Madagascar. By detailing the transformation of his own son’s smile and the free surgical care his family received from volunteers, Fidelis hopes his efforts will one day lead to Operation Smile Madagascar treating every patient living with a cleft condition in the country.

While there are many children who still need surgery, Fidelis knows that his efforts made an extraordinary impact on the lives of many families during a surgical program in 2018.
For Herve, he discovered a new self-confidence after surgery and found the courage to tell Christine he loved her. He couldn’t contain his smile when she said she loved him too.

I Deserve To Be Called By My Name

[music plays]
Image: Baby with cleft lip sitting on ground
Text: I deserve
Image: Closeup of girl with cleft lip
I deserve to be called by my name,
Image: Closeup of toddler with cleft lip
not by my condition.
Image: Closeup of girl with cleft lip
Do not make me feel alone, ignored, ashamed of who I am.
Image: Girl covering her cleft lip with arm, then lowers it
I don't deserve to feel so hopeless.
Image: Closeup of toddler with cleft lip
Do not deny me love,
Image: Mother holding crying baby with cleft lip
Image: Closeup of baby with cleft lip
Image: Closeup of young girl with cleft lip
Image: Closeup of baby with cleft lip
I deserve to have a future that I choose.
Image: Closeup of smiling girl post-surgery
I deserve to live a healthy life,
Image: Women walking together
Image: Women hugging
Not suffer from pain,
Image: Young boy smiling
Thirst, hunger, sickness.
Image: Boy skateboarding and doing trick
I deserve respect.
Image: Close up of baby and young girl with cleft lip
I deserve dignity. I deserve a chance
Images: Different kids with cleft lip and post surgery
because I have something amazing to give to this world.
Image: Father holding child with cleft lip
Image: Operation smile logo
[music fades]

Operation Smile, Inc.
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