Cost of a smile

SEIS-Bartimaeus Hospital surgery 2012 (2)

Story from the field


How much is a smile worth?


For one West African father, it is worth more a thousand thanks. More than money. More than what he could give alone.


The Barthalimee Hospital in Senegal is a 100-bed hospital that offers free or discounted care in its region. One of its services is free cleft lip and pallet surgeries for children.


Cleft lip and pallet surgeries not only improve the child’s appearance, but improve breathing, hearing, and speech and language development.


Muhammad is a 5-year-old boy who underwent cleft lip surgery at Barthimee Hosptial. Mr Mbaye, his father wrote a letter to the hospital to express thanks.


“From Jericho … Christ gave light to Bartimeus,


To Thiès, Christ gave the smile to several children and their relatives.


This is how I start my letter to you, so important for me, because coming from deep in my heart; and my motivation is nothing but the joyful heart of a father who says a thousand thanks.


Thank you because without you, my son Muhammad may never have this beaming smile. This joy extends to his mother and the entire community.


Thank you because by the many testimonies in the hospitalization room, and through daily experience, I know that you saved several couples, thus several homes.


Thank you for your hospitality, your care, and above all, the free character of the intervention, the medication and the hospitalization. Without this help it would have been difficult to support such a cost.


However it would be good to make more visible your actions in favor of the communities by the setting up of an association of children who have been treated in Barthimee Hospital. The association would have the goal of displaying your actions to the Senegalese public, and also to make known such an opportunity to several homes whose children stay home, for nothing is worth a smile from these lambs of God.”


Mr Mbaye”


Muhammad is just one child who has had his smile made whole because of Barthimee Hospital.


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