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Sometimes, Part 2 of the Story is Better Than Part 1

From fearing the worst to getting the best cleft care for Shubham

Shubham smiling and holding a photo of himself before cleft surgery

“We were filled with excitement to welcome our fourth child. I couldn't undergo ultrasounds and was praying for a healthy baby. When I regained consciousness after delivery, Shubham's father broke the news that our son had a cleft," reminisced Chanda. "We loved our son but were anxious about his health and future."

Shubham smiling and holding a Smile Train sign with his family after cleft surgery
Shubham with his family

Shubham was born into a family grappling with the harsh realities of unemployment and financial instability. The family's desire for a boy had led them to have their fourth child. With father Rajesh earning too little to support his mother, wife, and four children, the prospect of treatment for Shubham seemed out of reach.

Outside their home, another ordeal awaited. Relatives and neighbours blamed Chanda and Rajesh for their son’s cleft and asked questions each time they took him outside. As the child grew up, the merciless taunts of neighbourhood children became an unyielding distress. Buckling under social stigma, the family decided to keep Shubham indoors in their cramped, one-room house and didn’t enrol him in any school.

It took them years, but finally, the family came to know about Smile Train through a kind neighbour. This unexpected opportunity sparked a glimmer of hope within their hearts, and they immediately rushed to the hospital. Conversations with the doctors at Savitri Hospital gradually eased their tears, offering a glimpse of optimism for the future.

As the day of surgery approached, Shubham's parents grappled with a roller coaster of emotions, balancing fear and anticipation. The compassionate staff at Savitri Hospital provided reassurance, easing their anxieties and making them feel safe in unfamiliar surroundings.

Shubham’s parents were extremely delighted to see him post-surgery. Beyond the physical transformation, the surgery brought about emotional healing for the whole family. The parents were no longer haunted by the guilt of perceived shortcomings but instead filled with gratitude for the opportunity Smile Train granted to their child.

Shubham smiling and holding a steering wheel after cleft surgery
Eyes full of dreams

Despite continuing financial struggles, they hold onto hope that their children will study hard and one day be able to support them and build a better future for themselves.