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Miracle of Mercy – A New Smile in Burundi

Field Report by Lauryn Vickers

BURUNDILillian cried when she first held her baby boy in her arms. Her tears were not of joy, but rather fear. Seun-Gwn was born with a cleft lip and palate. One other baby born at the same hospital that day also had a cleft lip and palate. Tragically, the other baby died. Grief and concern overcame Lillian.

“I was so scared,” Lillian said. “I thought my boy would die, too.”

But she named him Seun-Gwn, which means “winner, defeater, victorious.” Lillian prayed this powerful name would prophesy Seun-Gwn’s victory over his condition.

In many communities around the world, mothers hide their children if they have birth defects. Folklore claims the condition of the child reflects some wrongdoing of the parents. Mothers face shame and ridicule when introducing a new child that has a condition like Seun-Gwn’s.

Cleft lip and palate surgery in burundi

Enduring The Difficulties Of Cleft Lip And Palate

But Seun-Gwn did not like to be covered. A vocal and happy child, he lights up every place he goes. Still, Seun-Gwn endured difficulties on a regular basis. His cleft lip and palate caused even simple things to become very challenging.

“Although he is a happy baby, he often struggles to take milk or even breathe,” Lillian said. “He sleeps very little.”

But Lillian did not give up faith that Seun-Gwn would be victorious over this condition.

“I put him in the hands of God,” she said.

Cleft palate surgery

Cleft Surgery For Seun-Gwn

Then Lillian found Operation Blessing-supported Kibuye Hope Hospital. The staff there evaluated Seun-Gwn and told Lillian they could help. Thanks to YOU, Seun-Gwn got the surgery he needed, at no cost to Lillian. He was, in fact, victorious!

Operation Blessing’s Life-Changing Surgeries not only transform the lives of the patients who receive the care, they transform the lives of their families too. Men, women and children around the world suffer from birth defects and other conditions that afflict them physically and emotionally. They must carry the burdens of being shunned by their community, missing out on school and jobs, or even finding it difficult to walk or breathe.

A lack of funds, living far away from hospitals, or having no knowledge of the medical resources available prevent many people from seeking care. But thanks to your generosity, vulnerable people all over the world are receiving the help they desperately need, at absolutely no cost to them!

Seun-Gwn’s life has been changed forever. He will now grow and flourish as a healthy and happy young boy, having left behind the burdens of his former condition. And he could not have done it without you!

“This is a miracle!” Lillian said. “To me this was a big problem, but for God it was small. Seun-Gwn is so handsome and strong now! Through you, God answered my prayers. As he grows up, I will remind him of what God did for him. Thank you for helping us. May God bless you!”

cleft lip surgery

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