Even though there is a history of cleft palate in their family, when little Seipati was born, his parents didn’t realise he was affected. During her pregnancy, his mother went for routine ultrasound scans. But they failed to pick up the condition. After his birth, no one at the hospital said anything.
It wasn’t until they noticed the newborn child struggling to swallow his milk that his parents discovered he had a cleft palate.
Seipati’s father, Godfrey, was devastated. He has an 11-year old daughter who was also born with a cleft palate. In their resource-poor community, four hours from the nearest hospital, surgical intervention was simply not available.
She struggles to form words and everyone laughs at her. As a result, she lacks confidence and self-esteem.
Godfrey was so relieved to hear that his little boy will not have to go through the same struggles as his older sister. It was the best early Father’s Day gift finding out that, thanks to Operation Smile, little Seipati, will receive the surgery and care he needs to live a normal life.
We hope that one day it may be possible for his sister to also undergo successful surgery.