The annual Smile Week, where plastic surgeons assist children in need of facial and other reconstruction is underway at Port Elizabeth’s Provincial Hospital.
The initiative, which is sponsored by the Port Elizabeth International Airport, is aimed at putting a smile on the faces of the children in South Africa.
About 20 children from across the Eastern Cape will undergo surgery this week.
The Smile Foundation helps children who suffer from treatable facial abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate, burns and facial paralysis.
Smile Foundation’s Operations Executive Director, Moira Gerszt says:
“Our support for medical services does happen right though out the year so its supporting the mommies to have food if they don’t have money to eat when they come to the hospital with their child, it’s supporting to get to the hospital if there’s transportation problems. We have clinical psychologists that speak to them when they come to the hospital.”
One of the beneficiaries, Sally Ahgoo says she is overwhelmed by her eight-year-old son’s bravery.
He is due to undergo his eighth operation, a rhinoplasty procedure to correct his nose:
“Sometimes, I felt like changing places with him because I know that it is sore and it’s painful but he’s always been a strong one. He came out of the operation then he’s up and about jumping around, every time he amazes us. Even now, he’s so excited to be here, it’s like a vacation actually. It was actually his idea to come here.”