Fy Always Had a Team in Her Corner
With their support, anything is possible
With two children already, Sylvie and Andry were experienced in handling pregnancy. Their third was a piece of cake. There were no complications whatsoever. Both Sylvie and baby Fy were healthy and the ultrasounds were clear. There was no reason to worry… until their doctor approached Andry after the birth saying something was different about this child.
Andry wanted to see for himself. He found his newborn in the arms of his mother-in-law. Immediately, he knew what the doctor was talking about. She had a cleft. He froze in place as worry filled his mind, but the joy of seeing his daughter for the first time overtook him. Cradling her in his arms, he was speechless. He thought he and Sylvie must somehow be to blame. Guilt wracked his body, but he wanted to help his child.
He took it upon himself to break the news to his wife and comfort her. Sylvie was shocked, unsure of what having a cleft would mean for Fy or what they could do to treat her. All she could do was cry.
Finding Their Solution
The doctor was quick to act. He reassured them that Fy’s cleft was not nearly as bad as it seemed and that it was treatable. This news brought the family comfort. There was something they could do!
Immediately, Andry dived into research. He scoured the internet and asked friends in the medical field for advice on options for Fy. Extended family and friends also passionately researched treatment. All hands were on deck, entirely focused on finding Fy the best care possible.
Their mad search came to an end with the discovery of a single Facebook post. Local Smile Train partner Santé Plus Hospital was advertising free, year-round cleft treatment. The couple was thrilled. They knew in an instant that they had found their solution.
Santé Plus Hospital welcomed Fy with open arms. They comforted Sylvie and Andry that one in every 700 babies is born with a cleft and it is never the parents’ fault. Waves of relief washed over them. Now free of guilt, they were prepared to push forward for Fy. The staff next told them how to care for Fy and prepare her for her surgery. Their main goal? Get tiny Fy to 7 kg.
This proved easier said than done. Fy was sick often and hardly had an appetite; she could only eat a few foods and none without great struggle. What food she did eat got stuck in her palate and milk dribbled out of her nose, choking her.
It started to weigh on the family. Buying enough food became a financial burden. Some days, Sylvie struggled to get out of bed. However, Andry stepped up and worked hard to care for the family, and many relatives and friends pitched in. The hospital staff likewise called regularly to check in on Fy. There was no lack of support.
After much hard work, Fy finally weighed enough to get her surgery. On the big day, Sylvie was riddled with nerves. The hospital had to do one more assessment to ensure her baby was ready. As she waited for the result with bated breath, paranoid questions filled her anxious mind: What if Fy suddenly can’t get the surgery? What if something went wrong? What would we do?
But all was well, and Fy was approved for the treatment. Only when Fy was taken into the operating room did Sylvie feel a weight lifting from her shoulders. The first big step to Fy’s treatment was underway.
Fy’s New Life
Once the surgery was over, her parents were stunned at how well it went. Their baby looked like a new child! It was truly remarkable. They couldn’t wait to get Fy home and show her off to everyone they knew. Their whole community was ecstatic.
At two years old, Fy now has two surgeries under her belt – the first one for her lip, and the second for her palate – and her improvement is drastic. She is no longer sick all the time. Her appetite has improved too.
Fy is growing up healthy and happy, and her parents feel blessed for every single day with her and every single smile.
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