Patient Stories

The Surgery He Always Deserved

Because of his cleft, Marco lived as an outcast for 54 years before a patient advocate ensured he would receive life-changing surgery from Operation Smile.

Then His Name Was Called

Time was running out on screening day when John nearly lost hope that he would receive cleft surgery from Operation Smile.

When Children Regain Hope: Siham's Story of Healing

“I always wondered why I was born like this and if anyone would ever come to save me."

A Second Chance to Smile

Unable to receive surgery at his first medical mission due to a fever, Bui returned to Hanoi for his life-changing procedure.

Every step of the way

When his second child, Georgina, was born with a facial deformity, Mtengeni never hesitated to show his love and acceptance of his daughter. He felt it was God’s will that his baby was born with a cleft lip and it was his role as her father to care for her as best he could, despite her condition. Mtengeni was no stranger to caring for someone with a physical impairment. Bernadette, his wife and Georgina’s mother, was deaf, and Mtengeni pledged to care for and support his daughter just as he had always done for his wife.

Clara's path to recovery

Born with a severe cleft lip and cleft palate, Clara of Madagascar has experienced many hardships in her young life. But we are happy to report that last May at our Antsirabe medical mission, Clara received life-changing cleft palate surgery!

A Stranger's Kindness
South Africa

Ephraim was filling gas tanks at work when an unnamed gentleman told him cleft surgery was possible through Operation Smile South Africa.

City of Smiles: Bacolod Medical Mission

The photographic story of an Operation Smile medical mission to the Philippines conducted in May 2017.

Devoted to Their Daughter

Elisa's parents, Sidonie and Jean, stopped at nothing to make sure she received safe cleft surgery from Operation Smile.

A Father's Promise Fulfilled

Today, Antonia, her father and sister laugh and enjoy the time with one another as they reminisce about the past. In precious moments like these, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a time when there wasn’t much that made Antonia smile. However, that time was 11 years ago, before her cleft lip was repaired by Operation Smile Brazil.


“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President