Caick’s Road to a Forever Smile

3 April 2019 | Smile Train

Caick from Brazil

Talita Ferreira from São Paulo, Brazil felt helpless and overwhelmed when she learned that her son Caick had been born with a cleft lip and palate, as she had no idea to whom she could turn to help her son.

The situation worsened at home when, for more than a month, Caick struggled with breastfeeding and began losing weight. Talita started searching for doctors who could help and thankfully was referred to Smile Train partner Instituto de Responsabilidade Social Sírio-Libanês (IRSSL) and its ‘Hello Mother’ comprehensive cleft treatment programme at Hospital Menino Jesus.

At IRSSL, Talita received training on feeding, and Caick met with a group of medical specialists who conferred to create a personalised treatment plan. The group started him out with pre-surgical orthopaedic nasoalveolar molding (NAM), an elastic band used to shape the lip and nose before surgery.

Caick has cleft lip surgery

With Talita’s new feeding technique, Caick grew to a healthy weight, and he received his forever smile from Smile Train partner surgeon Daniela Tanikawa.

Caick smiles

Caick and Talita returned for monthly consultations with the multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, paediatric dentists, and audiologists.

Caick with mom

When Caick was 19 months old, he received his Smile Train supported cleft palate surgery.

Caick holds his before image

Today, Talita and Caick continue their frequent trips to IRSSL, and Caick’s treatment plan continues to evolve — speech therapy sessions will start soon. After four years of continuing care, Talita said her feelings of helplessness and confusion are gone, and she is confident that IRSSL and Smile Train will be there to see them through any challenge that may arrive.


If you would like to help us enable our local partners to provide forever smiles and comprehensive cleft treatment, please make a gift today.