But it was hard. Valery found out that Andrews would be born with cleft when she had an ultrasound at five months pregnant. Her partner was no longer a part of her life, and she was gripped by depression.
Little by little, she regained her strength and began to investigate about cleft conditions. She turned to the internet to find out more and what her chances were of finding assistance in Peru.
What she saw on the internet left her very worried about her son. Shortly after, she contacted a psychologist, who explained that Andrews would have a condition that could be repaired with surgery.
Slightly relieved, she continued to investigate until she came across Operation Smile Peru on her local municipality’s website. She reviewed the foundation’s social media posts and felt compelled to call.
She got an appointment for a consultation and was surprised when her son received a comprehensive medical evaluation.
It is a key Operation Smile procedure to determine the health status of patients and to determine if they can have surgery. If patients are not healthy enough, they can receive nutritional support or other care until they are healthy enough for an operation.
Valery’s hope increased when she learned that there would be an upcoming surgical programme just 20 minutes from her home. Delighted with the treatment received at the care center, she couldn’t wait for surgery day to arrive.
A few months later, Valery and Andrews woke up very early to be among the first people on the first day of the surgical program. Upon arrival, they were surprised by the number of people who were already there.
It was a long day of paperwork, new medical evaluations and waiting, capped off with the happiness of knowing that Andrews had been scheduled for surgery. All went well.
Nine months after his cleft lip surgery, Andrews had a cleft palate operation, and as soon as he regained his strength, he began to attend speech therapy sessions provided by Operation Smile Peru.
“This is a wonderful organisation for people who need help and don’t have the resources to pay for surgery. The patience they have with each patient and their family is incredible,” said Valery, satisfied to see how her son’s life had changed – and hers.