Skip to main content

Patient Story Paraguay

The Change in Lucas

Patient Story Paraguay

The Change in Lucas

Vivi watched as the doctor frowned and immediately understood that there was something wrong with her baby. She was in the middle of an ultrasound, and, when she was informed that her son would be born with a cleft condition, she wasn't entirely surprised.

Lucas, After

Her husband, Raúl, was also born with a cleft condition, and, while research into the potential causes of cleft conditions are ongoing, genetics and family history can affect a baby's development. (For more information about Operation Smile's work in research the potential causes of cleft conditions, visit

Vivi was sad, but she felt reassured from having the right information. She knew about Operation Smile and that surgery was possible when her son reached 6 months old.

Lucas, Before Surgery

Furthermore, as a nutritionist, she knew how important nutrition is for babies born with cleft conditions. They are more likely to face eating difficulties, causing malnutrition and sometimes resulting in death. Once she had Lucas in her arms, she took special care of feeding him correctly.

Although Vivi was able to breastfeed, her son was not gaining weight. With the assistance of Operation Smile Paraguay, she put Lucas on a formula diet and began to see results almost immediately.

Lucas, an ever-cheerful baby, grew strong enough to face cleft lip surgery. Five months later, he returned to an Operation Smile Paraguay surgical program to have surgery on his palate.

Lucas and His Family, After

Lucas's second surgery went quickly. He soon returned home to happy neighbors and relatives. 

After his two surgeries, Lucas has no problems feeding and growing. His new smile and \very sociable personality do the rest.

Make Your Gift


Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft condition. Your gift today will help transform lives and increase access to essential surgical care.