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Patient Story Guatemala

Fight for Happiness

Patient Story Guatemala

Fight for Happiness

"You have to fight so that your children can be happy." That's the advice Brandon's grandmother has for all mothers and fathers who have children born with a cleft condition.

Brandon smiles while holding his before photo.

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

Brandon, before surgery

Emma reached out to the organization and was counseled 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 program, they received the news they were waiting for so long: Brandon was healthy enough to receive surgery.

Brandon, after 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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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.