Ernest’s story is particularly touching. The boy presents himself to the doctors at patient admissions with a piece of paper in his hand. “My name is Manirakiza, Ernest. How are you now. I am fine. I have education, I have painful mouth,” was the message the boy was sent to our doctors with.
At first glance, his problem is not obvious. It is only when the boy tries to open his mouth that his painful story is revealed. As a result of a chemical burn – presumably caused by acid – Ernest can hardly open his mouth. He has difficulty speaking, eating and drinking, and he suffers from chronic pain. It’s easy to imagine how painful it must be for him to yawn!
Even though Ernest doesn’t have a cleft, everyone on the team knows right away that this kid needs their help. Oliver and Gunther manage to restore an almost normal mouth opening. They also reconstruct the lips. Ernest can hardly believe his luck. During the entire operation he is always close to the team. Saying goodbye to Ernest is difficult. But it is reassuring for everyone to know that a new, better phase of life is now beginning for the boy.
As a sign of recognition and gratitude, an official photo session takes place in front of the Rwamagana Hospital with clinic management and community representatives at the end of the successful mission: A very special moment and the result of many years of trusting cooperation.