This is the story of the 5-month-old baby boy of Shashikala, the baby with no name. I first saw this family during the clinic where my job was to photograph each patient. The mother was crying uncontrollably and we tried to calm her so I could take the baby's picture. The mother and father look very young but were so caring for their child. When I would do something goofy the baby would give me a big smile and even with the large opening in his upper lip he is adorable.
I was so excited to see they were on the list for the day's surgeries. I hurried over to pre-op and found the family, mom and dad fussing over the baby, and pacing nervously. I was greeted with big smiles from mom and dad, did something goofy and got a big smile from the little one, and my heart melted. I took some pictures of them together and went back to the OR to wait for baby Jayaram's arrival.
I went through the whole process with baby Jayaram and felt like I was watching the surgeons work on one of my own children. When the surgery was over and he was wheeled into recovery, I nervously waited for him to be revived and was so relieved when I heard him start crying. It was then that I got a good look at his upper lip where previously there had been a large opening from his mouth to his nose. His upper lip was now perfect! What the Rotaplast surgeons do is nothing short of magic! The transformation from before the surgery to after and getting to witness the whole process is absolutely amazing!
Mom and Dad were escorted into the recovery room and based on the previous day with the mother's tears I knew this was going to be an emotional reunion.
The mother fought back tears as she kept looking at her child's face, and the dad was crying, trying to hide his tears.
It was an amazing moment and I was so honored to be there to share it with the family.
Later that afternoon I went by post-op to check on "my family" and the mom gave me a big smile when I approached. She
pulled back the covers to show me baby Jayaram's beautiful face, and with tears in her eyes, she said "Thank you"