Way out in the western province of Zambia, there is a shy 12-year-old boy who likes football and swimming in flood waters during rainy season – a boy whose life is about to change.
Likezo waits quietly on an old wooden bench with his aunt to be admitted to the ward of Lewanika General Hospital. He was just told by ReSurge's surgical outreach program director, Dr. Goran Jovic, that tomorrow he will have surgery to repair his cleft lip.
Life has not been easy for Likezo, whose mother passed away in 2008. While Likezo's father does his best raising his son, he suffered from an illness when he was young which left him unable to walk or work. The two of them rarely leave the village. Despite the difficulties he has already faced, Likezo says he has good friends but often finds himself wishing he looked like them. His cleft lip has been an everyday reminder that he is different.
Last year, Likezo's aunt Annie determined to find help for him. She had heard about Goran in Lusaka and the surgical services he offers, and talked to Likezo’s father. “Surgery can fix Likezo’s lip!” she told him excitedly. “These things are being done!” Likezo’s father readily agreed to the surgery. Anything to help his son.
That is why today is so special. Annie traveled six hours with Likezo to see Goran, who evaluated Likezo and scheduled him for surgery.
When asked how he feels about his upcoming surgery, Likezo smiles shyly. “I will be so very happy,” he says.