Surgeons bring back smiles to kids

Unfortunate kids are born with facial deformities across the world, including Vietnam. Aiming to restore their confidence, a UK-based non-profit organisation has performed operations for kids with facial defects and trains surgeons and medical experts in developing countries, including Vietnam.

Just like any other kid, 10-year-old boy Tran Duc Bao is beloved by his parents.  Yet, Treacher Collins syndrome left him with a deformed face from birth, taking away his confidence.

His mother Nguyen Thi Nhi said: "When he turned three, he started looking in the mirror and asked me why he didn’t have ears. He told me his only wish was to have ears like other kids. I can only count on doctors. I hope they can help my kid."

Good news arrived at his home when the UK-based organisation Facing the World, in collaboration with Hong Ngoc Hospital in Hanoi offered him a free facial surgery.

Dr. Nguyen Nguyet Nha​, a Plastic Surgeon at Hong Ngoc Hospital shared that Bao was a multi malformed case which is not simple to perform surgery on. T​hat day, UK and Vietnamese surgeons were performing a surgery to release his tongue as it was indented. His jaw was also going to be operated to remove redundant teeth.

Bao is among dozens of kids with facial deformities, who have had free surgeries by leading surgeons within the Facing the World network since it entered Vietnam in March, 2015.

After surgeries, many young lives have been changed radically, including Doan Thu Thuong’s, a chemistry prodigy.

Born into a poor family with a deformed face, Thuong’s dream of having a beautiful look was thought to be out of her reach.

Yet, today, she is a confident girl, going to the hospital for a regular check-up after two surgeries fully funded by the project.

She said she used to be mocked and ridiculed for her appearance, making her feel inferior. When ​she got older, the inferiority turned into self-deprecation. After the surgeries, her face ha​d been improved some 70% so I was more confident. I hope that Facing the World and likewise programmes continued giving us opportunities.

Bao and Thuong’s path to regain smiles is still long. But there is one thing can be sure that they are not alone with the warm hearts of domestic and foreign doctors and medical experts by their sides.


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