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Success! James from the Philippines raised $1,246 for cleft lip and palate surgery.

  • $1,246 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
James's treatment was fully funded on November 24, 2016.

Photo of James post-operation

January 25, 2017

James underwent successful cleft lip surgery.

James and his father are very delighted with the results of the surgery. James has become more active and more expressive with his feelings. He has returned to school.

In six months, James will undergo a cleft palate repair surgery.

“I am very thankful to all the donors who helped my son,” says James’s father. “Truly, I will be forever in debt to you…Thank you for bringing a smile to my son’s face.”

James and his father are very delighted with the results of the surgery. James has become more active and more expressive with his feelings....

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November 2, 2016

James is an active four-year-old boy from the Philippines. He was born with a cleft lip and palate.

James does well in school, but his condition causes him social difficulty and shyness. His parents feel unable to help their son. When he was two years old, they brought him to a doctor, where they learned surgery would cost more than they could afford. They decided to delay James’s treatment.

Fortunately, on November 3, 2016, doctors at our medical partner, International Care Ministries, performed a cleft lip and palate repair surgery. This operation should help James focus on his studies and will improve his quality of life.

James’s father is a laborer and a driver, and his mother works as a house helper. They cannot afford to pay for this $1,246 treatment, and they need our help. Both parents hope their son will enjoy his childhood.

“In our current situation, it is so hard to save when you don’t have something to eat,” says James’s father. “That’s why we are so thankful that there were people who organized this camp to help my son and other children who had this condition. It was a blessing for us who are unfortunate…Thank you so much that you will give hope for my son.”

James is an active four-year-old boy from the Philippines. He was born with a cleft lip and palate. James does well in school, but his co...

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James's Timeline

  • November 2, 2016

    James was submitted by Krishiel Ferenal, National Health Officer at International Care Ministries.

  • November 3, 2016

    James received treatment at Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao in Philippines. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • November 11, 2016

    James's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 24, 2016

    James's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 25, 2017

    James's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 4 donors

Funded by 4 donors

Cleft Lip - Surgery Camp
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,246 for James's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

A cleft lip is a common birth defect that causes a split in the upper lip, which divides the lip into two parts separated by a gap. A cleft palate is a birth defect that causes a split in the palate. Some patients have splits in their lips, palates, and gums. These patients have difficulty eating and speaking clearly. Their appearances are affected, which may cause social difficulty. Finally, those with a cleft palate may also have difficulty swallowing and experience chronic ear infections.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Children with cleft lips experience a variety of psychosocial issues, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and social isolation. They may also experience difficulty eating, speech impediments, ear infections, and hearing loss.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

This treatment is necessary and has no historical, cultural, or regional significance.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

A child is admitted prior to the surgery to be assessed by the surgeon and the anesthetist. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make incisions to both sides of the cleft and create extra flaps of tissue to bridge the gap. These flaps are then brought together and sutured. If the patient has a split in more than one area, he or she will undergo multiple surgeries. The lip is repaired first, and the palate will be treated after six months. If the gum is split, the patient will undergo another surgery after several years.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

The patient will have only a thin scar on the upper lip, improving his or her appearance. The child's speaking ability and quality of life will improve tremendously.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Cleft lip repair is a relatively simple surgery that usually results in normal lip appearance, structure, and function. The main potential complication is infection. Patients may also develop abnormal scar tissue called keloids or hypertrophic scars.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Many regional hospitals provide this surgery. However, there are often significant out-of-pocket expenses that make the surgery inaccessible. Furthermore, families may not know how to navigate the health system. They need a case manager to guide them through each stage of treatment, which our medical partner provides.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Surgery is the only means of correcting the defect in the upper lip. This surgery will be supplemented by speech and nutrition therapy.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Joan is a farmer and a mother from Rukungiri district in southwest Uganda. She is married and is a mother of six, with two sons, both studying in school, and four daughters, all of whom are married and small-scale farmers. She managed to complete seventh grade in primary school but never proceeded due to a lack of money for school fees. Joan and her husband do farming and grow food crops for home consumption, but often sell off the surplus to generate an income for their family. Five years ago, Joan began to experience troubling symptoms, including a lot of pain; she can’t turn her head sideways; she feels congested with difficulty breathing; she gets fatigued easily and has shortness of breath whenever she lies down to sleep. She first went to Kisiizi hospital, where she was diagnosed and was asked to first pay for her surgery, which she couldn’t raise, but when she was oriented about a surgical support program, she decided to come to see if she could be supported. She was diagnosed with a goiter and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joan receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 29th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Joan says, "I am really in deep pain, but I hope to get healed once I receive this surgery."

15% funded

$212to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.