Who says cleft lip kids aren’t beautiful?

A “feel good” cleft lip post for this 4th of July.

Imagine if you had a beautiful daughter, perfect appearing in every way except for a split lip running almost to her nostrils. Imagine, too, if you lived in a rural part of Northeastern Brazil and had nine other children with no money left over year after year for corrective surgery.  As a rural farmer, life would be hard enough that you wouldn’t want to watch your daughter Danila bullied and ostracized because her congenital cleft permanently revealed her teeth and caused eating and speech problems.


Pretty little girl with brown hair and open cleft lip permanently revealing tooth .

Danila before surgery.

Operation Smile to the rescue.

So, when you heard Operation Smile was sending a surgery team to Fortaleza, the large Brazilian city five hours away that hosted some of the 2014 FIFA World Cup (couldn’t resist this tie- in to Sunday’s Cup Final between the US and Japan), what would you do?

You’d borrow money for the long journey to Fortaleza because, of course, you love Danila and want the best for her. Since not even Operation Smile can accommodate every child and every birth defect, you’re ecstatic that Danila is chosen for surgery.

As the wonderful “after”photo shows, your  greatest wish has come true. Today, Danila’s cleft is gone, and a beguiling smile shows she believes she has an exciting future ahead of her. She’s free at last of the cleft that had become the central focus of her life. Every day is Independence Day now for Danila.

  Pretty little girl with brown hair and cleft lip scar.
         Danila after surgery.







To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.


  1. In Burma, there has many cleft lips who had been made surgery but not good looking as like as Danila. We need skillful doctor. We’ve some donors for treatment.
    I appreciate for understanding each other.

    • You are so right. Acceptable, especially attractive, surgical outcomes depend on a surgeon’s skill and sometimes on multiple operations.

      Hopefully, more charitable organizations––like Operation Smile––will visit Burma and teach local surgeons modern restorative techniques.
      Operation Smile conducted its first medical program in Burma in 2010. Over the past five years, Operation Smile has provided free surgical care to more than 400 patients in Burma with cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities.

      Please keep me informed of the situation for clefts in Burma. Hopefully, Lady Sue’s government will improve prospects for medically underserved children in Burma.

  2. OMG!!

    Another epic one! On your (KARLSCHONBORN) Web page. This is a comprehensive and helpful post concerning Classic Before And After Cleft Lip Pics. I’ll be sharing with my friends.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.