Patient Stories

Devoted to Their Daughter

Elisa's parents, Sidonie and Jean, stopped at nothing to make sure she received safe cleft surgery from Operation Smile.

Overcoming Her Obstacles

Though Nazifa now has a beautiful new smile, her journey in accessing cleft care was anything but easy.

A Father's Promise Fulfilled

Today, Antonia, her father and sister laugh and enjoy the time with one another as they reminisce about the past. In precious moments like these, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a time when there wasn’t much that made Antonia smile. However, that time was 11 years ago, before her cleft lip was repaired by Operation Smile Brazil.

The Solution

In Ethiopia, Operation Smile is helping to strengthen the country’s health system through specialised training and education programmes while continuing to provide patients with world-class levels of surgical care.

In His Mother’s Arms
Santo Domingo

Immediately after Leudy was born, he was taken away before his mother, Marisol, could see him or hold him.

From Hurt To Healing: Efren’s Emotional Change

At 9 years old, Efren’s schoolmates were his worst enemies. He lashed out against his bullies, who constantly target him with insults because of his cleft lip and cleft palate.

When Children Regain Hope: Siham's Story of Healing

“I always wondered why I was born like this and if anyone would ever come to save me."

As if he didn't have a name

Cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries gave Joseph the confidence to pursue his education without the threat of bullying

The Commitment: Don Alex's Story

It was March 24, 2012, early in the morning. Alex Guerrero and his wife, Adilia, had chosen to give birth at a private clinic for the first time. This would be their fourth child, a baby boy.


When his second child, Georgina, was born with a facial deformity, Mtengeni never hesitated to show his love and acceptance of his daughter. He felt it was God’s will that his baby was born with a cleft lip and it was his role as her father to care for her as best he could, despite her condition. Mtengeni was no stranger to caring for someone with a physical impairment. Bernadette, his wife and Georgina’s mother, was deaf, and Mtengeni pledged to care for and support his daughter just as he had always done for his wife.


“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President