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The 700 Club

You Gave Her a Miracle Smile!

Ken Hulme - 700 Club International Managing Director

After Baby Chan Trea was born with a cleft palate, her parents, brothers, and sister all had questions about why she was born with this condition. “At first, after Chantrea was born, I cried,” recalled her mother, Soeum. “I felt so heartbroken and disappointed. I never thought something like this could happen to us! And my youngest son kept asking me why his sister looked like this!”   

“I was so sad I wanted to cry. I didn’t know why this happened,” said 8-year-old Jettrah. “Even though my sister has a cleft lip, I still love her and worry about her. I want her to go to school with me and my sister.”

“I was afraid that when Chan Trea grew up, the neighbors would look down on her,” added Sahnah, Chan Trea’s sister. “I wanted her mouth to look like mine. When I took my baby sister for a walk in the village other children call her 'broken lips.' I got mad and brought my sister back home.” 

Before she was born, Chan Trea’s father, Vichet, always posted pictures of his children on Facebook.

“Now I don’t put pictures up. I don’t want the villagers, or anyone to see my daughter because of her cleft lip.”

Finding work has been difficult for Vichet too. That meant there was no way they could pay for surgery. “Before the baby was born, I worked in construction. Then Covid hit and we ran out of money. I didn’t know where to find work.”

Without surgery, Baby Chantrea began to lose weight and became malnourished. “She choked when she drank the formula,” her mom told CBN. “Her eyes became white. It looked like she had a difficult time getting a breath.”

When Operation Blessing learned about the baby girl, we arranged for the mother and daughter to travel to a city hospital. There we paid for her to receive free cleft palate surgery. That surgery was successful. “Other children come to play with her now,” said her mom. “She can eat rice and porridge, and she is now gaining weight!”

“Thank you to Operation Blessing for helping my daughter at the right time!” added Vichet. “I don’t know when I would have ever had enough money for an operation. I am really thankful for what you did. I even posted her picture on Facebook!”

“My sister's lips look beautiful!” declared her brother Jettrah. “I now carry her through the village and I am happy for her because she no longer has a cleft lip. Thank you for fixing my sister’s lip.”

 

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