Nicaraguan teen gets surgery that makes her smile
Watch Maria’s story, and see how a Toronto surgeon volunteered his time to fix complications she had with her cleft palate
By Brianne Binelli, online content manager, Canada
When Dr. Paul Roberts met Maria, he knew she had a problem he couldn’t ignore.
The honorary advisor on Christian Children’s Fund of Canada’s Board of Directors knows it isn’t our mission to provide surgeries, but he wanted to help the Nicaraguan teen fix a complication with her cleft palate.
Dr. Jeffrey Fialkov, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, volunteered his time to perform the surgery. Although Maria had an operation as a child to repair her cleft palate, a hole had developed through the repair. It was causing food and fluids to be regurgitated through her nose.
Of course, there were other challenges: “I was always concerned about what other people would think about me, and some people asked what happened to me,” recalls Maria in the video. “I hope no one asks me that again.”
Watch Maria’s latest medical journey. See how the operation has changed her outlook.
About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For nearly 60 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, donors and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members.