Valeria’s eight-month ultrasound revealed that her daughter, Lilia, would be born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. She had already lost her job as a kindergarten teacher due to pandemic lockdowns, and, tragically, her husband passed away just before Lilia was born. Grief, fear, loneliness and doubt filled Valeria’s thoughts. Still, she persevered.
And when she connected with Operation Smile Mexico, hope replaced her fear, support replaced loneliness, and care replaced doubt.
Lilia received a cleft palate feeding plate that made it easier for her eat. She participated in virtual speech therapies that helped her emotional and speech development. Finally, at surgical programs conducted by teams of Operation Smile Mexico volunteers following stringent COVID-19 protocols, Lilia received cleft lip surgery in March 2021 followed by her cleft palate surgery in September 2021.
“This has changed my life because I know there is always a hope,” Valeria said. “I know that I’m not alone; I know that my daughter counts on people, special angels who support her, that love her. I thank Operation Smile for how wonderful you are.”