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Fernanda’s Family: New Advocates in Peru

Fernanda Lucia was admitted to Programa Creciendo, TF’s partner in Lima, Peru, when she was just eight days old. The pandemic caused significant disruption to health care in Peru, and Fernanda was not able to receive surgery until she was 20 months old. That didn’t stop the team at Programa Creciendo from beginning Comprehensive Cleft Care.

On the day Fernanda was born, her mother Soralinda recalls


“it was traumatic because in my family we have never seen somebody with a cleft. We did not know she had a cleft [prior to delivery]. My husband was in shock when Fernanda was born!” When family members would come to visit, they would ask Fernanda’s mother why she was born “that way”.


Though Fernanda’s parents were shocked by the condition, they were thankful that she was otherwise healthy. While still recovering from delivery in the hospital, Soralinda was given the support she needed to understand how to care for a baby with cleft.

After surgery, Soralinda now visits the centre twice per month with Fernanda. Currently, she is seeing improvements in her speech therapy sessions and is receiving assistance with her orofacial motor skills. Soralinda encourages parents of children born with cleft to come together to support each other and emphasizes the importance of a supportive family for children to feel safe in.