Urmila from Bangladesh

Urmila is born in Bangladesh in early 2023 as the third child of the Laltu family. When the parents see their daughter’s face, they are shocked: Urmila doesn’t look like other children. The little girl has a bilateral cleft lip. The next few months are difficult for the young family. Urmila has problems drinking from the breast and is gaining weight slowly. She needs all the care of her parents. A heavy burden to bear for the family and of course especially for the young mother.

Urmila with her mom. The worry is visible in her mom’s face.

Urmila’s father earns the family’s living from farming. The income is barely enough for the family to survive. The family cannot afford the operation their daughter needs. Without surgery, the untreated cleft lip will cause Urmila to have difficulty speaking intelligibly, to which other children and sadly even adults tragically all too often respond to with bullying. This can drive those affected who can’t do anything about their gap to the point of loneliness and dropping out of school – a sad fate. How should Urmila get the chance to live her life normally without such problems? A terrible situation for parents.

But then the happy turnaround comes: the parents find out about the free help offered by our local organization. Our “Cleft Bangladesh” team includes six highly experienced surgeons, another young doctor who is still in specialist training to become a cleft surgeon, and a country manager as an organizer and contact person for the patients. Another doctor has already completed our special training program and is now working as a Cleft Bangladesh surgeon: a great success for our efforts to help cleft lip and palate patients in Bangladesh, because it rejuvenates the team and makes it more future-proof and the huge wealth of experience of our experienced people Surgeons – for the benefit of all children in the country born with cleft lip and palate!

Happy end for Urmila

After Urmila’s parents found out about the treatment option from our Bangladeshi partners, funded by our donors, our young surgeon Dr Masfiquer explained to the parents in detail what procedure was necessary. The parents feel hopeful – a path to a life without a cleft lip for Urmila is suddenly very close! After the general medical preliminary examination of blood values and nutritional status, the first good news: Urmila is fit enough to safely undergo surgery – a great achievement by the parents, as babies with clefts often have difficulty drinking. Therefore, the little girl can get an operation date straight away in summer 2023. The parents are overjoyed and relieved!

The cleft lip operation is successful. The parents are happy to embrace their daughter, who has suddenly changed appearance. Since Urmila doesn’t have a cleft palate, she doesn’t need a second surgery for that. Her path to a life without health problems caused by the untreated cleft is clear – what a feeling for their parents!

The family shows up for follow-up care. Urmila’s wound has healed well. This is often the case with such small children – another reason why providing the surgery as early in life as possible is so important for children. Surgeon Dr. Masfiquer is satisfied. What a happy ending! We are also happy for Urmila and her family and wish her all the best for her future!

Our work in Bangladesh and many other countries with medically underserved cleft patients around the world is only possible thanks to the financial support of people like you! We would deeply appreciate your help!