I was born with a cleft lip in Kaptrit, a small village in western Kenya. My parents didn't know that the repair of my lip was possible, and many of the children in our village were afraid of me. When I was 13, my family learned from our neighbor, Joseph Zewedi, that Operation Smile doctors would be providing surgery in Nakuru. Unfortunately, my parents didn't have enough money for the trip to the hospital. Kind-hearted Joseph started a collection in the village for the money - about $3.50 - for a one-way bus ticket to the mission site. Joseph raised the funds, and he and I began our eight-hour journey to Nakuru.
Three years later, my mother confessed that she never believed my lip would actually be repaired during the medical mission. She wanted the volunteers of Operation Smile to know that she is eternally grateful. So am I. Now, the children in my village not only accept me, they believe I hold some kind of magic. I have more friends than ever.
Tags: Patient Stories, Nicaragua