Areeba with Cleft Lip & Palate

It was a partly cloudy afternoon of July in Karachi, when little Areeba was brought to the clinic with her father and grandmother along with a white beard gentleman whowas cousin of one of the pulmonologist in Patel Hospital. Areeba’s father came from Rahim Yaar Khan to Karachi for job purpose and was working with this man who after listening to problems of Areeba’s cleft deformity and her father’s financial distress brought them to our hospital, as his cousin had told him regarding Smile Train program of Patel Hospital.

Areeba was continuously crying in arms of her grandmother who was so much worried about her granddaughter’s deformity which was becoming more obvious while she was crying with all force. They were not able to bear expenses of their child’s surgery; they were worried about their child’s future as a bride and so on. Thanks to that gentleman who guided them to come here all the way from Rahim Yaar Khan and was very concerned about Areeba. After examination of Areeba, it was found that she had cleft lip and cleft palate as well. She was sent for paediatrician’s review and for blood test. After pre-anaesthesia evaluation and approval from Smile Train, she was first operated for her cleft lip deformity on 17th July 2013. Her grandmother was delighted to see result of repair and seeing her granddaughter smiling like other children. On her visit to clinic after lip repair, Areeba was looking a confident child. This time she was not crying as last time and was looking cute in her pink dress.

Areeba went back to Rahim Yaar Khan, where her mother who couldn’t come, was desperately waiting to see her daughter after surgery. Areeba had to come to the clinic after one month but she came in January with her grandmother and father for palate repair and her father excused for not coming earlier because they didn’t have money to come through bus or train. They were told that Smile Train is working in so many cities in Punjab also and if it’s difficult for them to come to Karachi they can go there, but both Areeba’s father and grandmother refused to change the hospital as they were very much satisfied here. This time her cleft palate was repaired on 25th January 2014. On follow-up visit Areeba’s family was so thankful and her grandmother was praying for everyone who helped them in the hospital with tears in her aged eyes which could not be forgettable.

Dr. Mazhar Nizam, who despite of his busy surgical practice has been working with Smile Train since 2005 pursuing the dream of bringing smiles to cleft children. It’s not only Areeba but so many children from all over Pakistan are getting treated for their cleft deformities here in Patel Hospital and almost 600 children have been operated as yet and everyone has a story.

Patel Hospital is a small boggy of Smile Train, picking passengers from every possible stations to strengthen their smiles and this journey will go on In’sha’Allah.