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Review for Operation of Hope, Lake Forest, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a teacher/academic researcher. In 2007 I visited an isolated rural primary school in eastern Zimbabwe, a 12 hour drive from Harare. A teacher introduced me to a 7 year old girl who was in the first year of school. Her face was deformed by a cleft palate. I was shocked to see a child of that age who had not received surgery. I explained to her teachers that the repair and reconstruction was a common operation but they told me that her family could not even afford a hospital visit. I promised to see what could be done. Back home in the UK, I wrote to Smile Train who put me in touch with Operation of Hope. I e mailed them and explained the girl's problems. They invited her to the clinic in Harare in April 2009. Teachers and family accompanied her. The operation was carried out successfully, The staff were so kind and gentle, she was given medication and sent home after a couple of days. She recovered and a year later Operation of Hope recalled her for further surgical treatment. This girl is now in the final term of primary school. She is making excellent progress and enjoys a full life, free from the trauma of a cleft palate. She writes thank you letters to me but truly her thanks are for Operation of Hope. In a few years time I think they will invite her back for further checks and adjustments. All the work they did was voluntary. Her health, well-being and academic progress are thanks to Operation of Hope. Dr M Lynn

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