*LL = pseudonym
Before LL was even a mere thought, he was already part of SAVF. His mum’s involvement enabled us to get to know LL even through his mum’s pregnancy. We have been looking forward to his birth and to start playing with him.
LL’s mother went for routine investigations during her pregnancy, where it was determined that LL would be born with a defect. We were sad with Mommy, but stood together to give her hope that LL would receive medical support.
The special day finally arrived, and LL was born (sharing his birthday with the regional manager, Mrs Ferreira). Great excitement prevailed, and the staff at the hospital had to teach Mommy to support and feed LL with a major cleft lip and palate with which he was born.
There were regular follow-up examinations at the hospital, with challenges regarding early morning transport for mom and baby and waiting in long queues. The investigations culminated in an operation that had to be done at the same hospital, so that LL’s lip could be repaired. The Smile Foundation was approached and the first operation was eventually done with there assistance.
LL is becoming the most beautiful little boy. He is spontaneous and happy and shares love as much as he receives. His first operation was only the first step in a road that still lies ahead of him, but the joy in his eyes is something special to behold.
SAVF walks the road with LL – to change his life, to always give hope and to ensure a smile on his face.
Estelle de Man, Social Worker, SAVF Vanderbijlpark