As we paced up and down outside the operation theatre while Harsh, our son, underwent surgery, a flurry of thoughts crossed our minds- Would he look normal like all other children? Would he be able to lead a happy, healthy life? Would he be able to smile? Those questions were answered as soon as we saw his beautiful smile for the first time. The worry on our faces changed to happiness!
Today, it makes us so happy to see five-month-old Harsh smiling and growing up like other babies. When Harsh was born, it seemed like he would never smile. We had no idea about the condition that Harsh had and we wondered if our son would ever lead a normal life. Worried about our son’s future, my husband and I decided to consult a health worker. The health worker explained what a cleft is and that many children in India are born with it. To our relief, we were told that with appropriate medical care, Harsh’s condition could be treated.
Now that we knew that cleft treatment was available, we were still worried as we did not know if we could afford the treatment. On sensing the worry on our faces, the health worker immediately informed us that free surgery and cleft care is available through an NGO called Smile Train. The health worker guided us to Smile Train’s partner CHL Hospitals, where our son underwent surgery free of cost.
Thanks to Smile Train and Dr. Jaideep Chauhan’s team, Harsh now has a bright new smile and a bright future ahead of him. We have gained our peace of mind, knowing that Harsh can lead a healthy life just as any other child in the society. This is the best gift for our son!
As told to Smile Train team by Rekha Kanade, Harsh’s mother. Harsh was operated for cleft lip and palate at Smile Train partner, CHL- Apollo Hospitals, Indore.