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Success! Elmer from the Philippines raised $322 to fund cleft lip surgery.

  • $322 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Elmer's treatment was fully funded on October 28, 2016.
October 16, 2016

Elmer is a strong and energetic three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He is the second-youngest child of six. His family lives in a small bamboo house, and his father works as a farmer.

Elmer loves to play with other children. However, his mother worries that his cleft lip embarrasses him. Fortunately, Elmer received cleft lip surgery on October 17, 2016. When Elmer’s mother learned that surgery was possible, she cried with joy.

Elmer’s family cannot afford his healthcare costs. They need help to fund this $322 surgery, which they consider a great blessing. “We are very glad because the operation will be done,” says Elmer’s father, Limbo. “To the doctors who will do the operation and to those who assisted us and the donors who will sponsor us, thank you so much.”

Elmer is a strong and energetic three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He is the second-youngest child of six. His family lives in a small...

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Elmer's Timeline

  • October 16, 2016

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

  • October 17, 2016

    Elmer was scheduled to receive 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.

  • October 21, 2016

    Elmer's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 28, 2016

    Elmer's treatment was fully funded.


    Awaiting Elmer's treatment update from International Care Ministries.

Cleft Lip w/ Philhealth- Surgery Camp
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $322 for Elmer'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.