We've completed three days of surgeries and changed the course 25 young lives. While the majority of Rotaplast patients are children, we do see the occasional young adult who's life would be positively impacted by a surgery that could not be possible without Rotaplast.
Grecia was abandoned by her mother at the age of 2 ½ months. If a child is born with a cleft facial abnormality, they may be socially stigmatized, their family punished or they may simply lack the same attention and care as other children as a result. The child may be kept in the shadows of society; locked away from view and hidden by his or her family. In Grecia's case, she was left to her husband’s sister, Nellie. Nellie took the baby and loved her. Grecia grew into a young woman of 21 and dealt with a lifetime of eating difficulties. The food she put in her mouth would fall out of her nose due to the gaping hole. Her young life was spent being teased and tormented by others who saw this. Yet she persevered and entered nursing school until someone told her that she could not become a nurse with food falling out of her face. She left nursing school embarrassed and humiliated. She made a wish to get her cleft palate repaired by her 22nd birthday.
Soon after that wish, a neighbor saw an advertisement for Rotaplast on TV the day after our team landed in Lima. Nellie and Grecia packed their bags and were on a bus to Lima that very night from the north coast of Peru.