12 Years After Cleft Lip Surgery

Ganesh is 14 years old. Despite living in a small rural village of Nepal, he dreams of becoming a doctor. Ganesh has a gentle smile that mirrors his serene and charming personality. His father never had the opportunity to know the Ganesh we know today. Unable to stand the shame of having a child born with a cleft, Ganesh’s father left him and his mother.

Ganesh was destined for a life of social stigma and isolation until, when he was nearly two years old, ReSurge’s Nepal surgical outreach team stepped in.

It is fitting that this child was named Ganesh. The name “Ganesh” is derived from one of the five prime Hindu deities, the lord of success and destroyer of evil. The god Ganesh lost his head in childhood and rose again through the attachment of the iconic elephant head.

“Ganesh” has a special significance in Nepal as the popular given name of many of the Nepalese boys born with bilateral cleft lips and palates. Some suggest the name is symbolic of hope, while others believe it represents shame. However, all agree that the name is given due to the facial deformity associated with cleft patients.

Nearly 12 years later, thanks to surgeries and speech camps made possible by ReSurge donors, Ganesh is a vibrant, vivacious child with a winning smile and a bright future.