Monday, January 30, 2006

Operation Smile

Tonight I saw something on TV that moved me beyond words. At first I thought it was another reality show. But it turned out to be a commercial program for an organization called Operation Smile. This is a group of plastic surgeons and their medical teams who travel the world repairing cleft lips and cleft pallets on children in countries where they have no hope of getting this kind of medical attention, which in America, is commonplace. These children are ostricized. Some aren't allowed to leave their homes without a bag on their head. Many die from malnutrition because they have trouble eating and drinking.

The first story I saw was about a nine-year-old Vietnamese boy. He was called Sut, which means "hairlip", since the day he was born. He started school at five, but ran away on the first day because of all the ridicule he faced, and he never went back. He could hardly eat or drink. He was chosen to have the surgery, which only takes about forty-five minutes. When his mother came in afterwards and saw the incredible transformation, she held him and wept. From that day on he was called by his given name, Tahn, which means "blue sky". Story after story, picture after picture of these sweet little children and their helpless families who felt like they'd been handed a new life. Today I start saving to buy a child a surgery.


heartsjoy said...

How touching. I need to check more info. on that. It sounds like a great work!

LiteratureLover said...

I have seen some of that and bawled like a baby. There was even a motion picture made about it and I think it was called, Smile. I didn't see it but I wanted to.