Arianna is Eileen and Mark’s first child. Aileen’s excitement and anticipation for the birth of her first child turn to shock and despair when she first saw her new daughter who was not quite as perfect as she had hoped as her mouth was marred by a hole in the upper lip. Mark although sad that his daughter should be born with a facial malformation, was not entirely surprised as one of his cousins was also born with a cleft lip and he knew about the hereditary factor.
When the new family returned home their neighbours, while feeling sorry for them, accepted the reality and were very supportive. One of the best signs of support that Eileen received was from a neighbour who told her about an amazing organisation called Operation Smile that helped children like Arianna.
Mark and Eileen soon heard that an Operation Smile Team was coming to Cavite. Last week they brought Arianna to the De La Salle University Medical Center for her medical evaluation. In spite of knowing there were others with cleft lips they were overwhelmed when they saw so many families waiting to see the international team of doctors and nurses.
After a very long day the Monday’s surgery schedule was posted, then Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, and Friday’s and still Arianna’s name was not there and then … Wednesdays’ schedule was posted and there was Arianna’s name. Mark and Eileen excited and nervous about what the next few days would mean knew that Arianna would be treated by a wonderful team of doctors and nurses.
On Tuesday, Arianna was admitted in to the pre-operative ward and early on Wednesday morning Arianna’s lip was closed forever. Back in the post-operative ward Mark an Eileen thanked every member of the Operation Smile Team for their care of their precious daughter.