Shahid, was living hand-to-mouth as a part-time electrician. Shahid married Shezana and the couple was blessed with two sons. Despite being poor, the family was happy that their sons would have the opportunity to grow up and become successful.
One year later, Shezana gave birth to Mursleen, a baby girl born with a cleft lip and palate. Both parents were despondent because they had never seen a child with a cleft before. Their neighbors and relatives started teasing them, saying that their baby girl was the punishment for their sin of pride.
Mursleen’s parents worried: Was this defect treatable? Who will marry her? How will she spend her life? Will she die?
Two years later, Shezana gave birth to another baby girl, Muntaha, who was also born with a cleft lip and palate. Shezana went into severe depression and became ill, most of the time she cried and cursed her luck.
One day Mursleen became very sick and her father took her to the local doctor in the village. When the doctor saw Mursleen’s face, he told him about free cleft surgery at a Smile Train partner hospital. When Mursleen felt better, the family traveled to Smile Train’s local partner hospital in Gujrat, Pakistan with both girls.
The family was very happy with the professional staff and were amazed that all the treatment was free. Both the girls had surgery on the same day, and both surgeries were a success.
Shahid said it was like a dream come true and Shezana was very thankful. She said that Smile Train came in to their lives at their lowest point and now they are able to go home with a feeling of happiness that can’t be expressed in words.
It is true what they say; it’s never too late to start a new life. 45-year-old Jennifer says she lived a life of hardship and sadness until good fortune led her to Smile Train partner CoRSU Hospital in Katakwi, Uganda. It was a new smile a lifetime in the making.
Jennifer was the youngest of seven children and the only sibling born with a cleft lip and palate. Jennifer recalls her father trying to protect her from bullies growing up, but he did not always succeed, so she spent most of her time isolated at home. To make things worse, the family’s livestock was stolen and they were left destitute.
As much as her father wanted to provide his youngest daughter with a smile, he did not have enough money to take her to the hospital when she was young. Jennifer had been referred to the regional hospital to repair her lip, but they could not afford the transportation to get there.
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