His mom, Nomthandzo, wanted to protect her little boy from the neighbours’ stares and superstitions. Some had already told her that they were too afraid to even look at him. So she wouldn’t allow him to play outside.

When Ndzalo was born, Nomthandzo cried. She wondered if she was being punished by God, because she already had an older child with a physical disability. She saw Ndzalo’s cleft as another challenge, and was not sure she could cope with two children with disabilities.

Then she saw an Operation Smile poster at the clinic, and realised there was hope. Nomthandzo contacted our patient hotline for more information and learned about an upcoming surgical mission in eMalahleni. When the mission day finally arrived, she was overjoyed when Ndzalo was selected for surgery. It changed both their lives for the better.

Ndzalo now goes to pre-school and has lots of friends to play with. Nomthandazo no longer worries about her son being teased because he was born different.

“I am grateful for the care Operation Smile provides for cleft patients,” she said. “My son can now have a beautiful future ahead of him.”

Share this post on social media