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Worapruch “Lak” Khamsanrat



Worapruch “Lak” Khamsanrat

Story written by Chawadee Nualkhair

When Worapruch and Wongsiri were born to their rice and cassava farming parents two years ago, their mother was not expecting both twin boys to have cleft lips and cleft palates – birth deformities their father, a hobby fisherman, attributed to “bad karma” for tearing the lips of fish after catching them. The cleft palates made it difficult for the boys to eat or drink milk easily, and marked the babies as different, possibly condemning them to lives of ridicule or shame. Fearing the boys would develop inferiority complexes, Worapruch and Wongsiri’s parents used up their savings for a 600 baht, 62-km bus ride that would get them in touch with Operation Smile doctors who would be able to perform surgery on both palates.

Consulting with doctors and seeing other babies with cleft palates put the twins’ mother, Wanna, at ease. Thanks to the Operation Smile Foundation, the twins received the surgery they needed, enabling them to drink and eat easily. Even better, neighbors say the boys’ scars are barely noticeable. Today, Wongsiri – born with the bigger cleft palate – still has some issues while eating food, but both are developing in leaps and bounds (Worapruch is known as the “naughty one”), and their father jokes that he now has problems distinguishing between the two, since their mouths now look the same. 



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