For Brandon’s parents, Emma and Victor, excitement turned to overwhelming surprise and sadness when doctors informed them of their son’s cleft condition shortly after birth. 

Upon returning home, some neighbours blamed Emma, claiming she took harmful medicines during her pregnancy. The only light of hope came when the doctors explained that it could be solved with surgery. Brandon’s parents soon found Operation Smile Guatemala on the internet.

Emma reached out to the organisation and was counselled by medical staff and volunteers on her son’s nutrition. They provided him with an infant obturator so that Brandon could eat more easily. 

Soon, Emma brought Brandon to meet the Operation Smile surgical team. But, during a comprehensive medical evaluation, Brandon had pneumonia and was unable to receive surgery. 

Emma and Victor waited anxiously for few months. On the next programme, they received the news they were waiting for so long: Brandon was healthy enough to receive surgery.

And just under an hour after entering the operating room, the boy came out with a new smile and a new future.

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