Operation Smile's volunteer medical professionals travel around the world to treat children suffering from facial deformities. Their efforts mean new smiles for thousands of children, including these former patients:
Naw Phyu Win
Her mother is worried that Naw Phyu Win will be shy when socializing with friends if she does not have surgery to repair her cleft lip and palate. Naw Phyu Win’s mother is hoping for a successful surgery and a quick recovery so they can save money and send her to school.
Thin Thin Hlaing
Her mother took her to a local clinic when she was five or six months old and the doctor explained that the mouth is connected to the ear. The doctor told her that Thin Thin Hlaing needed to have surgery to fix her congenital defect. However, her mother didn't know where to go to find such treatment or how she would be able to pay for it.
Cen tu wa
Centuwa had a rough start to life. His mother passed away only a few months after he was born. Then his father dumped him in a garbage disposal area. On top of that Centuwa had been born with a cleft lip and cleft palate.
Supanat Khampala ‘Folksong’
When Folksong was born in Amnatcharoen with a cleft lip and palate, his parents vowed to do all they could to help their son.
Akkarawit Prakaen ‘Beam’
When Akkarawit ‘Beam’ Prakaen was born with a cleft lip, his parents feared they would not be able to afford the surgeries needed to treat their son.
Akekapop ‘Ake’ Khamloy
Akekapop was born with a cleft lip that his parents thought might earn the little boy teasing at school
Chordaonin ‘Face’ Jaingam
Face's mother was acutely aware of the suffering her daughter would certainly encounter as she grew older
Kunanon ‘Oat’ Rinthang
Oat’s appearance frightened his 38-year-old mother, who did not expect her son’s cleft lip, cleft palate and feet deformity.
Autsanee ‘Nung’ Praijampapetch
They have been "passively" harassed by friends and family. Many family members jokingly said to the mother "Your baby is incomplete?"
Thipyarat ‘Pink’ Wongkam
When Thipyarat was born with a cleft, there was almost no hope that she would ever be able to get the operation she needed to give her a normal life.
Jitakorn 'Bank' Kaesi'
Originally the mother felt very guilty - maybe she worked too hard, didn't eat the right food.
Chaichana ‘Natee’ Chantasane
Like most mothers who only want the best for their child, Chaichana’s mother held out hope that maybe the blurred image of her tiny baby was wrong.
Chanatorn 'Peem' Namwong
Both parents were already coping with the surprise of pregnancy, and the resulting expenses, and now feared the financial impact of their child's birth defect.
Ke Biu Doh
It is heartbreaking to imagine the pain that a parent must feel knowing that if they only had enough money, they could end their child’s suffering in a matter of hours.
Ket Yee Wai
People with so little wake to a world with little hope, and that little hope must get even smaller when listening to their child being mocked by other parents in a work camp.
There was a lot of pressure on Sophang even before she was born since she was to be the only daughter among 3 older brothers.
Suchart was born with cleft lips and plates in the farming village.
Ju Ngae Ngae
Ju Ngae Ngae’s mother looks down at her beautiful little three-year-old daughter with big bright eyes and soft little hands and wishes for her to have a life of feeling pretty and being happy.
Joh Sin Oo
Joh Sin Oo will not have to spend the rest of his life with a cleft, but the first 12 years have certainly taken a toll.
Now imagine that she has to feed this milk to her newborn infant with a spoon because her baby has a cleft and cannot drink normally.
Yan Myo Aung
There is a world in which this boy is called a broken egg and other children will not play with him.
Htun Naing Oo
Htun Naing Oo told his mother that he would like to be handsome when he was older so that he would not be shy anymore.
It was so painful for him to realize that this is how his daughter might have to spend her life.
O’Sheng had no friends and no self esteem. Unable to speak normally, he rarely spoke for fear of being teased and called mean names like “split lip.”
Tran Tu Lin
In addition to being a refugee from Burma, Tran was born with a cleft lip.
Sam Sam Moe and her family live in a village in Thailand, but are Burmese. She is the only one in her family with a cleft.
Sabaitip ‘Pum’ Sangpeng
It was only once she was born that they saw her smile was not the one they had imagined, and that little Sabaitip was born with a cleft lip and palate.
Sirisupasorn ‘Bell’ Chaisilp
After the surgery they were so happy to see the transformation of baby Sirisupasorn’s face, and in the coming days became even happier when they realized how much easier it was to care for her and feed her.
Papatsorn ‘Pun Pun’ Pilam
After baby Papatsorn turned a month old, they noticed that she had a mark on her upper lip. They were not worried at first, but over time the mark continued to grow and change.
Suppachai 'Deaw' Korsantia
Born with an open palate and small eye syndrome in his right eye, Deaw needed surgery to help him speak and eat properly.
After receiving a reconstructive surgery from Chonburi medical mission last May 2015, First -- a cheerful toddler with new adorable smile is so cute that his mother cannot remember how his smile before the operation was.