In 2014 and 2015, our surgeon Dr. Alberto Bardales successfully closed the babies’ cleft lips and palates. “Their wounds healed… and they could smile and so could we,” Eliza tells us with relief. “We also got advice from the psychologists and speech therapists, and we were very happy for their help. Now we and our children are happy. We live as a family here in the village. I want to thank God and the Peruvian doctors of Qorito and the people from Germany (DCKH) for their support… thank you for helping our people.”
Since the surgeries, the children have integrated well into the community and are no longer marginalized. Thanks to the skilled surgeon, nothing remains visible of their clefts today. The twins have developed well and go to school in a village nearby on foot. On the day Dr. Bardales visits, they happened to have stayed home to tend the sheep and help their parents with the oat harvest.
Like many cleft patients, Wilian and Yeison would benefit from speech therapy to improve their pronunciation. Speech therapy is part of a comprehensive cleft therapy, which we work towards offering in all of our project countries. Their teeth are also in very poor condition, which is unfortunately very common in the region, even in children born without clefts. During Dr. Bardale’s latest aid mission in Cusco, shortly after his visit, a dentist has now also treated the twins’ teeth.
Wilian and Yeison are now nine years old and can look forward to living a normal life – a life that is not possible for many children with untreated clefts. We rejoice with them and the many children like them whom we have been able to help so far. For making this possible, we thank our many doctors, therapists and organizers in the project countries and, of course, our many many donors in Germany and around the world.