Khiem is a boy from Hai Phong, born in a family with parents who love him so much. When he was just born, his mother was extremely devastated when she saw her child was not as healthy as other children. Khiem had a cleft lip that making it extremely difficult for him to eat and drink milk. His parents were endlessly worried about what their child would be like, how to treat him, what he would look like when he grow up, how people would discriminate against him… Luckily, Khiem’s parents learned about Operation Smile’s surgical misision, right at the time when the medical experts and donors from the United States came to work in Hanoi. Knowing this, his parents decided to take him to the hospital in time for the screening. The 45 minutes Khiem spent in the operating room is also 45 minutes for parents sitting still, both afraid of their child’s pain and looking forward to a successful surgery. After the surgery, Khiem’s parents were truly overwhelmed with happiness. They kept looking at the beautiful face and smile of their child who has just been healed and is now a very handsome Khiem.
Khiem’s story is also one of tens of thousands of stories of children and parents who desperated when their child was born with a facial deformity, until the child received surgery with good quality medical treatment. At Operation Smile, with each child healed, we know that we have an additional motivation to continue the journey of smiles for Vietnamese children.