Like many couples in underserved areas, Mathias’s parents were unaware that their son had a cleft lip and palate until he was born. Prenatal screening to detect cleft or other conditions is also uncommon. In addition, Mathias has two older brothers and neither one had a cleft.
Mathias was unable to have surgery elsewhere because his parents insurance didn’t cover the costs of the procedure. Fortunately, a friend of the family told his parents about the comprehensive cleft care services provided by Global Smile Foundation (GSF) free of charge. They brought Mathias to GSF Cleft Center at Hospital Leon Becerra run by Fundaciòn Global Smile-Ecuador.
Mathias began a pre-surgical orthopedic therapy called Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) reduce the size of the separation in his lip and palate. After his therapy was complete, Mathias’s parents brought him to the March 2019 mission for a cleft lip surgery. A year later, they returned so that Mathias could undergo a cleft palate surgery. They were extremely pleased with the surgical outcome and are excited to talk about their positive experience with GSF.