Bernard's mother Halima felt peace of mind knowing her previous three pregnancies and deliveries went exactly to plan. With Bernard’s birth, immense sorrow came crashing all around.
Like her son, Halima was born with a cleft lip and palate. She endured a childhood of stigmatization and isolation, especially since she could not access surgery until she was 20 years old. But Halima was determined to provide a better future for her son.
Thankfully, options for cleft care in Uganda have expanded since Halima’s childhood. At 3-weeks-old, Bernard visited CoRSU Hospital with his mother for an assessment with Dr. George Galiwango and the cleft team. First order of business? Ensure that Bernard was on track to gain weight in preparation for this surgery. Next? Halima worked with the social work team to grow in confidence in addressing the stigma that surrounds cleft in her community, and to which Halima was painfully well-acquainted.
Of her experience with CoRSU, Halima reports that,
“I was excited to meet a hospitable team. I had hope that Bernard would be operated upon at an infant stage and would not undergo the same agony of stigmatization as when I grew up. Transforming Faces donors are making it possible!”