In the province of Cañar, Ecuador, there is a small town called Biblian where a young family lives. The newest member of the family is Miguel and his life is about to change.
Miguel is only a few months old and was born with a cleft lip and palate. His parents had learned through an ultrasound before he was born that he would be different, but they were determined to find help so that Miguel would not grow up facing the stigma and difficulties of someone with a cleft. They turned to the Internet to research different options and came across a YouTube video about Fundacion Rostros Felices (Happy Faces Foundation), ReSurge's local partner organization in Ecuador, founded and run by ReSurge surgical outreach director Dr. Jorge Palacios. There they learned about an innovative pre-operative treatment being used for infants with cleft palates called nasoalveolar molding or NAM.
NAM is a procedure used to help align an infant’s gums, bone and nose before surgery is performed to repair a cleft lip and palate. It alleviates the tension at the surgery site, which helps improve the surgical result and often reduces the total number of surgeries the child needs over the course of his or her life. This is especially important for families like Miguel’s who may not be able to afford the 8-9 hour journey to the local hospital more than once.
Miguel is currently undergoing his NAM treatment. Eventually he will also have surgery to repair his cleft and his smile will no doubt be a testament to the value of a comprehensive approach when providing reconstructive surgery.
We thank our dedicated partners in Ecuador and wish Miguel and his family all the best!