My wife and I were excited about our first child’s birth. Though we knew we couldn’t do much for him because of our limited means, we dreamt of giving our child the best we could afford and make up for all that we couldn’t provide him, with love. But, there was something else in store for us.
The day Nitin was born was devastating for both, my wife and I. Nitin was born with a cleft lip, a condition we had never seen or heard of before. I still can’t forget the terror in the eyes of my wife when she first saw our baby. She was affected to such an extent that she went into mental shock and wasn’t able to accept that our child was born with a cleft.
Her condition worsened over time, and we had no choice but to keep Nitin away from his own mother. My sister came as a blessing during the tough time our family was going through. She took care of Nitin and was determined to find a solution to this problem. People in her neighbourhood told her about Smile Train and the free treatment. The words were like music to my ears since we had already spent a lot on my wife’s treatment and gifting my child with a new smile, was a distant dream.
It was disheartening that I could not share this news with my wife, but was hopeful that Nitin would not be deprived of his mother’s love for long. When Nitin was rolled out of the operation theatre and I saw his healed cleft, I could not hold back my tears. I was sure that Nitin’s new smile would help strengthen the bond between him and his mother.
We are testimony that just because of a birth defect, our child was deprived of his mother’s love for too long a time. No child and their family should undergo this trauma, that too for something which is correctable through a surgery. I would urge that we spread the word and let more people know that surgeries are available free of cost.
Today, our family is reunited, Nitin has a new smile and most importantly his mother’s love. My wife can’t stop doting on her son and his beautiful smile — all thanks to Smile Train!
As told to the Smile Train India team by Ramprasad Patel, Nitin’s father. Nitin was born with a cleft and underwent corrective surgery at partner Dube Surgical and Dental Hospital, Jabalpur.