Transforming lives of one cleft lip/palate patient at a time in the last seven years has been the objective of IMANA Medical Relief [IMR]’s SaveSmile mission and we are excited to share that on Day 5 of our 7th Annual SaveSmile Surgical mission of 2016 we successfully treated our 1,000th patient!
Our milestone patient was, Arbab Abdel Majeed, a soft-spoken man who lived with a left unilateral cleft lip and palate for the last 63 years. Growing up, he lived a life of shame, unable to attend school, unable to seek employment, and most importantly be part of society at large. He was always looked down upon by others, only receiving pity because of his facial deformity. It was fitting that Majeed was operated on by Dr. Parvaiz Malik, who initiated the project seven years ago, giving hope to those who had none.
Seven years ago, the IMR team comprising of just four doctors from the United States; Dr.’s Parvaiz Malik, Ismail Mehr, Labib Syed and Khalique Zahir traveled to Sudan to explore the possibility of establishing a cleft lip and palate surgical mission. The first year of the mission, the IMR team successfully operated on 41 patients as hundreds of cleft patients waited in line requesting surgical care, they vowed to return.
Day five wrapped up with 48 cleft care surgeries, bringing the mission’s total to 174 patients. The healed smiles from today and the past few days are a testimony of how a reconstructive surgery can help a cleft patient smile brightly as ever. Marking SaveSmile’s mission accomplishments, IMR volunteers celebrated with local Sudanese volunteers at the Hospital.
Reaching our milestone today was truly a special moment for the IMR team, it wasn’t only 1,000 patients but also thousands of family members whose lives have changed in the last seven years. The IMR team wholeheartedly thanks it’s volunteers and donors, as together we truly are ‘Making a Difference!’ And a special Thank You to our collaborative partners, Sudanese Islamic Medical Association [SIMA], Doctors Worldwide Turkey and Federation of Islamic Medical Association [FIMA].