Meet Genesis: Operation Smile Honduras' 5,000th Patient

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In May 2017, we announced that after 20 years of providing free surgeries to Hondurans in need, Operation Smile has made sure that cleft care in the country is SET: safe, effective and timely.

This means that every baby born in the country who needs this essential surgery will be scheduled to receive it as soon as they are old enough and healthy enough to undergo anaesthesia.

One of those babies is Genesis, a 6-month-old girl who was born with a cleft lip in a small town outside of the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Her mother, Marlen, was told about Operation Smile Honduras at the hospital where she gave birth to Genesis, but the staff didn't provide her with complete information on what to expect next.

“When she was discharged from the hospital, she didn't know what to do, so she went directly to the Operation Smile care center with her newborn baby cradled in her arms,” said Joanna Erlich, a program coordinator for Operation Smile.

Fortunately, the Operation Smile Honduras team told Marlen that if Genesis passed her comprehensive health evaluation, she would receive surgery at the February 2018 medical mission in Tegucigalpa.

“Operation Smile Honduras has been able to provide Genesis and her mother with tremendous resources over the last six months, which have allowed her to grow and develop into a healthy baby qualifying for surgery on this mission,” Joanna said.

On Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, Genesis became the 5,000th patient to receive surgery from Operation Smile Honduras.

Joanna added: “We celebrate all of these smiles that have been created throughout the past 20 years of the foundation, and celebrate the growth of the foundation and the complete care that is provided here, which will carry Operation Smile Honduras on to their next 5,000 patients!”

 
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Operation Smile Honduras' 5,000th patient, Genesis, plays with her mother, Marlen, at the February 2018 medical mission in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo: Rohanna Mertens.
 
 
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Aneathetist Dr. Alessia Adduci of Italy examines Genesis as her mother, Marlen, holds her during the Operation Smile mission at Hospital San Felipe in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo: Rohanna Mertens.
 
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Genesis gets her photo taken by a patient imaging technician during the Operation Smile mission at Hospital San Felipe in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo: Rohanna Mertens.
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“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