Dan, a bicycle mechanic, and Hellen, a stay-at-home mother, reside on the shores of the swampy Lake Kyoga, along with their two children – Janet and Innocent. In mid-2021, they expanded their family and welcomed a third child, who they would name Esther.
It wasn’t until the delivery day that the local health centre discovered that Esther had a cleft lip. Hellen’s thoughts raced. She wondered… Would her daughter be accepted in the community? Would she be able to thrive and have opportunities like her other children?
The local centre did not have experience in cleft care and referred the family to a larger facility. When Hellen travelled there, she was informed of a camp taking place in more than a year’s time where Esther could receive surgery – but only surgery.
Hellen returned to her village with little information and didn’t know where to begin.
Then, a Community Mobilizer found Esther’s family while passing through the family’s village. He informed the family that help was available and they could access Comprehensive Cleft Care at no cost through TF’s local partner, CoRSU Hospital. The news was life-changing for the entire family.
Eagerly, Hellen and Esther travelled to CoRSU for their first assessment. CoRSU recommended that Esther and her family receive psychosocial support, nutrition rehabilitation inclusive of takeaway packages, surgery and later speech therapy.
Beginning with nutritional support, Esther gained the weight needed for safe surgery.
Now, Esther is healthy, happy and moving towards the next phases of her Comprehensive Cleft Care journey. Her family looks forward to her beginning speech therapy.