Stories from the surgical room: Adult cleft lip surgery
Doctors working with Project Medishare begin marking Clevil Nesilomme for his cleft lip surgery. Nesilomme said that many times when he notices people looking in his direction he covers his mouth to hide his cleft lip. He hopes that this surgery will help him look better to avoid these strange glances. Photos by Jennifer Browning.
By Jennifer Browning
Port-au-Prince, HAITI–While standard telecommunications are improving, teledyol is still a powerful thing in a place like Haiti. Without word of mouth many wouldn’t get appropriate information about where to go for proper health care or other services.
It was a friend of Clevil Nesilomme who told him that The Smile Train in conjunction with Project Medishare and the University of Miami was in Port-Au-Prince to do cleft palate surgeries. His friend heard about the specialty surgery trip on the radio.
Living with a cleft lip all of his life, Nesilomme, 34, was ecstatic when the doctors told him they would operate on him today.
“I think that for you to be here to help me look better is good for me,” Nesilomme said, “because sometimes I walk out on the streets and people look at me. I don’t know if I should die or if I should live because I am so ugly.”
Nesilomme is a mason who builds houses around Port-au-Prince and has lived with a shattered self-esteem all of his life.
He feels that with this surgery he can live a normal life and be more accepted throughout his community.