Birthdate: 01/01/08. That looked strange to me. And it should have, because it was made up. The truth is that when Shathi came into the clinic there were a few strange things we noticed. First, she was so smiley and bubbly, while most children with cleft lips are shy and prefer to hide their face. The second was that her father appeared too young to possibly have a 10-year-old child.
[L->R Shathi is all smiles pre-op with Nan Madden (PNP). Randy Floyd (Mission Director) gives her a big hug in the waiting room. Bottom: Monica Morales brings Shathi toward the operating room]
She had an expert Unilateral Cleft Lip Repair performed by Dr. Milton Solis and Dr. Angelo Capozzi who gave this beautiful girl full lips for this first time in her life so that her speech and appearance could be improved.
[L->R Trusting Shathi is put to sleep by Lois Borie (OR Nurse), David Stellway (Anesthesiologist), and Joe Anderson (Lead Anesthesiologist). The operation is performed and supervised by Dr. Angelo Capozzi]
But it was in the recovery room that we learned the real story. Shathi had been a “street child” her whole life until 2 months ago. A woman had found her and gave her shelter for a night, but was worried that her husband would come home enraged that she let a homeless child into their home. So she called her neighbor and asked if they could give her shelter for a few nights. Her “father” came and picked her up to from the neighbor and brought her home with him and his wife. They instantly fell in love with her sweet smile and personality. He promised her that they would take care of her and, “keep you forever”.
A month later he heard about Rotaplast for the first time and that a team of doctors would come and maybe be able to help her. The only problem was he didn’t know where we would be. So he traveled all around Chittagong looking for us, in the hope we could do something for Shathi. In the last wrong town, finally, a taxi driver told him where he could find us, Southern Medical College Hospital. Now his daughter’s smile is complete and her life, from a few months ago homeless on the street, is completely changed.