Ali may be one of three triplets, but on the day the three boys entered the world, he stood out amongst them – he was born with a cleft lip and palate.
Ali spent his first months of life watching his brothers grow and thrive, unaware that he struggled with something entirely his own. Although cleft lips can easily be repaired with surgery, Ali likely would not have had access to it without the resources provided by MAP.
Babies born with a cleft lip and palate have an opening between the roof of their mouths and the upper lip. This causes an obvious facial deformity and eating and speech challenges. Unresolved cleft palates can cause lifelong issues like chronic ear infections, speech deficits, and malnourishment due to poor feeding. All these issues lead to a decreased quality of life and significantly impact a person’s mental health.
Born in Lebanon, Ali and his family had limited access to healthcare resources, making it challenging for him to get surgery to correct his cleft lip and palate.
Thanks to the medicines and sutures provided by MAP, Ali was able to have his cleft lip and palate repaired during his first year of life.
Had Ali not received this surgery, his life would be entirely different for years to come.
- He may have never been able to get the surgery, leading him to live his entire life feeling and looking different from his peers.
- He would have feeding challenges that could lead to other health problems such as malnourishment.
- Chronic ear infections could cause long-term discomfort and repeated antibiotic requirements.
Ali can now live a normal life.
He won’t face feeding challenges or the health issues that may come with it. He’ll never have to experience the pain, discomfort, and social stigma that often comes with a cleft lip and palate. He likely won’t even remember his cleft lip repair surgery, but the difference in his life is undeniable. Now his family can simply focus on the joy he brings to their life rather than worrying about his future with a medical condition.
Not everyone is born in a country with access to safe surgical procedures.
Ali and his family have been significantly impacted by the surgery he received, primarily because it addressed problems before they became even more severe as Ali grew up. As we continue working to provide medical resources to those in need, we’re reminded that touching the lives of innocent children and their families is a significant part of our mission.