Patient Story:

Overcoming Cleft and COVID in India


When Rekha discovered that her son would be born with a cleft, she wrapped her devastation in a stoic exterior. She hid the news from her husband and in-laws, sheltering them from the stigma associated with giving birth to a child with a facial difference.

Thankfully, Rekha was eventually referred to TF’s local partners, ABMSS and Rangadore Memorial Hospital, where she experienced compassionate care and received practical advice. Beginning with nutritional and pre-surgical support, ABMSS helped Rekha map a clear path for her son’s rehabilitation. Rekha finally felt equipped to accept her son wholeheartedly.

It was the beginning of a long journey to full recovery.
Undeterred by the pandemic, Rekha managed to visit the cleft centre for periodic pre-surgical treatments. This care took a sudden turn once her newborn began to experience symptoms of COVID. The CCC team in Bangalore rallied to offer their full support, ensuring he was promptly admitted to the intensive care unit.

It would take time for her son to recover from the coronavirus and to receive a cleft repair surgery, but Rekha joyfully reports that her son is now happy, healthy and has been fully accepted into the family. Her son now carries the given name Toshit, which means “satisfaction” in Sanskrit.