The process of bringing a child to the FACES screening clinics, into surgery, through recovery and speech therapy is very much a family affair. It takes the support of caring parents, siblings, neighbors and community members to successfully help a patient through the FACES process. Adin’s story shows how a team of caring parents and supporters is necessary to make the dream of surgery and normal speech a reality.
Adin is 3-years-old, has light brown skin and a shining personality. Whenever the FACES team sees him, in screening clinics, before surgery or during his post-operative healing, he is wrapped comfortably in the arms of his father, Fradin Guerrero. Fradin lives a difficult life as a rice, corn and lemon farmer in Piurra. But, no matter his circumstances, he would do anything for his son.
FACES operated on Adin’s cleft lip three years ago when he was a baby and on the January 2012 trip they closed his cleft palate. After Adin’s cleft lip surgery, he was anxious to have his son’s cleft palate closed as well, so he searched for local doctors. After careful consideration, he decided to wait for the FACES team to return because of the excellent experience he had with the team when Adin was a new born.
Adin traveled to Lambayeque to see the FACES team from a small village near Piurra called Canchake. Buses only travel between the two locales twice a week, so Fradin carefully planned out how he would travel to the hospital on time. The family made the journey by open-back transport truck.
“The trip was long and I tried my best to make sure my son was as comfortable as possible,” Fradin says.
Less than 24 hours after Adin’s cleft palate surgery he is awake and playing in the recovery ward, taking in the hustle and bustle of nurses and doctors rushing about.
“My son is a strong, healthy boy – very active. I’m so grateful for what the doctors have done for my child. I’d like to send one million thank yous,” Fradin says. He flashes a shy smile and you can see the striking resemblance between father and son.
Although Fradin spends long days working in the rice fields, he is excited that this surgery and subsequent speech therapy treatments will open up new horizons for his child.
“I wanted to have him operated on when he was young because soon he will start kindgergarten,” Fradin says. “I wanted to make sure he was ready for school.”
As the family gets ready to return to Canchake, Fradin strolls towards the exit but, at the last moment, turns and walks back to the FACES waiting area.
“I want to say ‘thank you’ again,” he says. “I am so grateful. I cannot thank you enough for what you’ve done for my child.”
Fradin and his son Adin, who received cleft lip surgery from FACES three years ago and cleft palate surgery from FACES this year.