Aite was born with a cleft lip in the secluded Wa State of eastern Myanmar. Tragically, within the span of a few days of being born, his mother had passed away and his father abandoned him on his grandmother’s doorstep.
After weeks of inquiries, Aite’s Grandmother was relieved to learn that cleft surgeries were available at a regional hospital. However, there she learned that the cost of a cleft surgery would be more than she would earn in her lifetime; she stopped looking for help and was resigned to the fact that her grandson would have to live with an untreated cleft lip for the rest of his life.
As Aite grew older, he tried to fit in with the other children his age and attended school for several years, but constant bullying took its toll and he dropped out.
When Aite was 14 years old, a local politician and Smile Train advocate went to the local school to inform the community about free cleft surgery in a nearby town. Aite’s former classmates led the politician to Aite’s home, where he and his grandmother were completely surprised that the cleft surgery they’ve been waiting for wouldn’t cost the family anything.
At the hospital, Aite was surprised to see that dozens of other children had suffered for years with untreated clefts, just as he had. At his medical checkup, he told the local Smile Train doctors that he was excited to finally have a normal life where he wouldn’t be teased.
After a short 45-minute surgery, Aite’s dream came true. He cried tears of joy when he looked into the mirror for the first time and told the surgeons, “I am super handsome.”
Aite is now back in his hometown with the goal of re-enrolling in school so that he can make something of his life. He sends his thanks to Smile Train donors for helping to give him a new life full of possibilities.
If you would like to help us provide new smiles and second chances at life to a child just like Aite, please make a gift today.