Bella is eleven months old and has achieved a great milestone in her healing process, as shared by the CURE medical team who flew with MAF for a life-changing medical safari.
Bella is Christine's second-born daughter and was born with a cleft lip and palate. At the time of Bella's birth, Christine had never seen a child with these conditions before. Imagine her shock and distress when she first saw Bella. A very worried Christine tried her best to find out what was wrong with her daughter, but no one could give her any guidance, and she began to blame herself.
Distressingly, people told Christine that Bella looked like a pig.
"I remember thinking maybe my child is like this because every time I saw a pig, I'd laugh at it!" Christine told us.
Fortunately, Christine received news of an upcoming CURE mobile clinic near her home. She and Bella live very far from a CURE Hospital or any hospital.
MAF Pilot Daniel Loewen-Rudgers flew the medical team from the AIC CURE Children’s Hospital from Wilson Airport in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to the remote locations of Lodwar and Kargi within three and half hours. The alternative would have been a gruelling 10 hours by road. This means that the medical team saves travel time and arrives ready to start seeing patients.
This mobile clinic turned out to be a lifeline for Christine. Here, she met a CURE doctor who explained the nature of her daughter’s cleft lip and palate. The doctor assured Christine that they were not alone in their struggle and that her daughter's condition could be treated. They were booked in and scheduled for surgery at the CURE Hospital in Kenya’s capital to correct Bella's clefts.
The journey from their home to CURE Hospital spanned two days, but their arrival was met with eager anticipation for Bella's life-changing treatment.
Dr Federico shares, “Every step we take to lift a child up is a step towards a world where differences are celebrated, and every heart is made whole again.”
Bella's journey serves as a profound testament to the miraculous wonders of faith and the profound impact of collaborative efforts in transforming the lives of children. Her life has been forever altered, allowing her to grow up free from judgment and resentment.
In total, the medical team screened and assessed 53 children. Of those,14 of the children were booked in and scheduled for surgeries at the CURE Children Hospital in Kijabe, giving them hope.
Awareness is also created in the community so that families avoid hiding children with correctable disabilities but feel more confident to bring them for professional treatment.