Patient Stories

A Magical Mission: Ky Le Lights Up Vietnam for Volunteer Team

Many children were scared or shy when they arrived at the hospital on the day of the surgeries, but this little boy, named Ky Le, was not. Despite having been born with a cleft lip and palate, he was a bright and optimistic little boy. Our volunteers were delighted to learn that his name translates into English as “Magical”!

Never Lose Hope: Jessica's Story.
Papua New Guinea

Operation Smile Australia is known as a medical charity that provides children around the world with life-changing surgeries. However, there are some special cases, where we can also have an impact on the lives of adults. Jessica is one woman from Papua New Guinea that we had the privilege of supporting.

The Way Home: Enok’s Story

We all know how cleft lip and palate surgery can change the lives of children, they will not only have a brighter future, but also they will no longer face discrimination caused by their appearance. Enok’s story illustrates how the life of an adult is literally transformed after surgery.

Nothing is impossible: Lala’s “personal duty”

Lala's passion for Operation Smile’s work has helped to change many people’s lives in his region.

A New Smile in the Philippines: Joseph’s Story

When Joseph was born with a cleft lip and palate, his parents were scared for his future

After 34 years, Moroccan man receives surgery

Abdellah works in a port, loading packing containers. Though he has a steady job, he has never had the means for surgery to repair his cleft lip, nor did he know a solution was available.

On a mission to spread smiles

From the moment Niño entered the hospital, he let his personality shine through the language barrier as he connected with the medical volunteers. He even helped the other children laugh, easing their nerves around being in a new place and fears of surgery.

In Paraguay, an ultrasound raises alarm

During a routine ultrasound in her final trimester of pregnancy, Karen discovered that her baby would be born with a facial deformity.

In Rwanda, a mother's quest to help her son

Alejandro was born with a cleft lip. When her son’s father learned of his birth defect, he refused to accept or even see the newborn. The clinic where Judith gave birth told her it was possible to repair Alejandro’s lip with surgery, but she would need to take care of her son and make sure he was feeding properly and gaining healthy weight.


Eden Rose and Eugene’s excitement at the birth of their first child turned to despair when their daughter, Jinden Juriz, was born with a cleft lip. Both parents had seen people with cleft conditions through their work in the fish industry in Negros Occidental, Philippines, but never imagined that it would happen to their child.


"We strive for a world where no child suffers the risks and uncertainties of a facial deformity."

- Richard Lewandowski, Plastic Surgeon, Co-Founder Operation Smile Australia