FIVE-YEAR-OLD Aneeza was born with a medical condition known as a “cleft lip,” which is an opening or split in the upper lip of an unborn baby while in the womb. But thanks to the intervention of Food For The Poor(FFTP), her family received aid to conduct reconstructive surgery on Aneeza’s face.
Aneeza hails from the village of Sebai, a riverine community in the Matarkai, a sub-district of Region One.
“Usually, the surgery is done before they are two years old, but with Annie’s situation, her parents just could not afford it. The situation happens with lots of families in the interior. They are really overlooked, but when my husband and I heard of Annie’s condition [whose family] we had known for about 20 years, we contacted a donor in the US who provided the necessary finances to facilitate the surgery,” the young girl’s caregiver, Wendy Mann, told the Pepperpot Magazine during an interview.
Before the surgery, Annie was always a joyful and playful child. She usually runs around the village, laughing, playing with her cousins and her brothers and sisters in her village and just a happy person, Mann explained.
Mann was also excited to share that after the surgery, which was done in early September, little Annie was jumping up and down in the restaurant where she was taken, dancing to music and was overjoyed.
“When she went out, she tried to laugh and she played, and you could just tell on her face that she has this smile, but she is doing great,“ Mann elatedly told the Pepperpot Magazine.
Her emotional status after surgery
One of the first things that she did was touch the part of her lip and show her Mom ‘gone’ to which her mom replied, yes.
The part to which she was referring was the part of her lip that was protruding, but she is very brilliant,“ Mann remarked during her interview.
Little Annie is now on her way to recovery after the first phase of her surgery and according to Mann, this is great news for all parties involved in her care.
What an exciting thing for this little five-year-old who is eager to embark on the career of teaching when she grows older.
According to her caregiver, her hopes will come alive as she recovers from the first phase of her surgery.
The cleft lip surgery will improve the quality of Aneeza’s life. Her speech, physical growth and development will also improve over time.
As a result, her socialisation with others will be heightened and more self-confidence regarding her physical appearance will be evident.
Aneeza will go back in six months to have the second surgery done.
Mann was confident that little Annie was well taken care of by competent physicians at the Balwant Singh Hospital, since she herself was treated for an illness there some time ago.
“After I showed her Mom the before-and-after pictures of her improvement, it was wonderful to see her mom‘s face light up in joy for her daughter,” Mann told the Pepperpot Magazine
Mann was jubilant to share with the Pepperpot Magazine that what touched her the most in this phenomenal experience was actually seeing the relief on her mom’s face, knowing that her daughter is being taken care of in a great way.
Food For The Poor, who is the major facilitator for Aneeza’s successful surgery has now introduced its Health Care Benevolence Programme that will cater to more cases such as this, for people in need.This programme aims to make health care and health facilities across the country more accessible to persons in the interior.