Cleft Palate Update
I'd like to provide an update on one of the urgent needs Spirit of America was able to address in Afghanistan.
Earlier this year, Field Rep Mike Press was approached by US Special Operations Forces about two children in the remote district of Ma'ruf who were suffering from severe cleft palates. These two teenage children, a brother and sister named Rafiullah and Dorkhanai, exhibited two of the worst cases of this condition the Special Forces medics had ever seen – without rapid attention, the children's already severely diminished quality of life would deteriorate even further.
Before and after picture of Rafiullah (Before picture courtesy of http://www.army.mil/)
With the support of village elders, the Special Forces team and their female advisory element, the Cultural Support Team, coordinated with CURE International Hospital in Kabul for the siblings to have their condition corrected free of charge. However, the military did not have the funds to provide transportation from Maruf to Kabul, as well as lodging in the capital during the recovery process, for the children and their father, so they turned to Spirit of America for help. Within a day, our generous donors provided the 520 dollars needed to cover this cost.
Before and after picture of Dorkhanai
With this assistance, the children underwent the long journey to Kabul and were operated upon at the end of March. Just over a week later, following completely successful surgeries, they were discharged, finally able to smile.
Afghanistan Field Rep