Still Managing to Smile…

…Yesterday, while walking through the slum to meet Gudiya and Neha, I noticed a small child I hadn’t seen before. I knew I hadn’t seen him because he has the most striking facial deformation I have ever seen. He was being held by his mother, who maneuvered back into the shadows. I took note of the location so I could come back later with someone to translate for me. One of my dreams is to work for a project like Operation Smile, which is devoted to repairing cleft lips in children around the world. Although this wasn’t a case of cleft lip, it was something just as significant.

I returned last night and found out that the boy’s name is Manish. He is two years old and was born with a small “chick-pea sized” growth on his nose that has progressed slowly to its current state. The family had saved up for an Rs 5000 ($100) MRI but seems to be avoiding surgery. Doctors have had him on 15 mg of Predon every other day for 80 days. The growth seems to have stopped enlarging but has not decreased in size.

I took my photos to a few doctors in the hospital today to see what they thought. They seemed baffled by the little boy as well. Manish is due for a checkup tomorrow, so I will report back with their findings. Regardless, I offered to help fund a surgery if one is necessary. His family seemed very grateful for the offer.

Even Manish managed to let out a smile: