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Finding the Smile Behind Her Mask

Zsa Zsa Palagyi - 700 Club Producer

JaiRui couldn’t wait to meet her baby sister.

She remembers, “I wanted to share my candy with her and jump rope together.”

But the day XinRui was born, her sister’s hopes quickly faded.

Mrs. Zhang says, “The doctor held the baby in front of me and said there was something wrong with her.” 

JaiRui explains, “Her mouth was broken and it scared me. I didn’t know what would happen to her.”

XinRui had a cleft lip and palate.  

Her father shares, “The doctor said if we couldn’t accept it, it might be better to give up the child. But when her little hand grabbed mine. I felt something in my heart that I can’t describe. And I was committed to sticking it out until the end.” 

Within a few months, XinRui was back in the hospital with trachea and lung problems, caused by her cleft lip. 

Mrs. Zhang recalls, “When she breathed in cold air through her nose, she would catch a cold, and then she would cough and have a fever. Then she’d choke and cry. Her face turned red and it seemed she might choke to death.”

With all the medical costs, sometimes the family could barely buy rice and noodles. So, there was no way they could afford surgery.  And as XinRui got older, she started noticing her lip.

Mr. Zhang expounds, “She looked in the mirror and asked me why her lips were different from other people’s.” 

“I was worried she would have a sense of inferiority. And maybe she would develop autism.,” Mrs. Zhang shares.

“People stayed far away from us, thinking it might be some kind of contagious disease,” adds Mr. Zhang.

So even before the coronavirus pandemic began in China, the Zhangs had XinRui wear a mask to hide her lip. JaiRui wore one, too.

Her father says, “She made her sister feel like wearing a mask was very important.”

Meanwhile, the couple desperately searched for assistance.

“I knew the sooner she had the surgery, the better the result would be,” Mrs. Zhang says.

Then they heard about a cleft lip clinic, where CBN was helping poor children in need.  And we made sure XinRui got her cleft lip surgery, free of charge.

“Her immune system has improved a lot, and she’s very cheerful,” Mr. Zhang exclaims. “On behalf of my family, thank you. It would have taken us more than 10 years to save for this surgery. Now, we feel like we have a big warm family all over the world.” 

“Thank you, everyone,” concludes JaiRui. “Thank you so much for mending my sister’s mouth!” 

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