Across Borders for Life: The Journey to Obtain Vital Medical Aid for Mileny

PERU – Isabel and her husband didn’t know what to do. They had just welcomed their second child into the world – a precious little girl who they named Mileny – and were shocked to see that she had been born with a cleft lip and palate.

In their tiny mountain village of rural Peru, no one had ever seen a birth defect like this before, and no one they asked knew what to do.

Shortly after Mileny’s birth, Isabel’s 5-year-old son told his elementary school teacher that his sister had been born with a cleft lip. Through his teacher and a chain of other people in different cities, Isabel and her husband learned that there was a MAP-supported surgical mission team visiting the city of Lima. The team would be performing cleft lip and palate repairs for children in need – at no charge.

“Isabel is an amazing woman,” says Dr. Ryan Brown, the mission team leader. “She had never traveled outside of her mountain town before, yet she embarked on a 3-day journey to arrive in Lima. She traveled a great distance to help her daughter.”

When Isabel and Mileny arrived in Lima, the surgical team set to work. Mileny went through a 2-hour surgery to repair her cleft lip and recovered exceptionally well. Dr. Brown describes the scene of Isabel seeing her daughter’s face for the first time after her operation. “It was very emotional for everyone in the recovery room as Isabel held Mileny and shared her story of how far she had traveled.”

“Your program is amazing,” Dr. Brown told MAP. “Without this suture, we would not be able to complete these surgeries.”

“The supplies and sutures donated by MAP were essential to complete this surgery,” says Dr. Brown. Mileny’s cleft lift was rather severe, so her surgery was incredibly transformative. “Because Isabel found our group and we were able to help Mileny at such a young age, we hope that Mileny will grow up with a very typical life for a young child in her village – just as she should!”

Because of MAP’s faithful supporters, Mileny will not have to endure the struggles of living with such a life-altering deformity as she grows up. Instead, she can now nurse well, have normal speech development, and grow up to succeed in school and thrive in life. With one operation, the course of her life was changed completely!

“Your program is amazing,” Dr. Brown told MAP. “Without this suture, we would not be able to complete these surgeries.”

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