Tshakholo Sekotoana

Tshakholo was born with a unilateral cleft lip. He was the first baby in Mafeteng village in Lesotho to be born with this condition, which made life very difficult for his mom. He was 18 months old when she sought help from the Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital in Maseru. The kind doctors there referred them to Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and we travelled for a very long time to get there.

His mom was afraid of what was going to happen, but the surgeons, speech therapist, clinical psychologist and an interpreter all worked together with Letitia Jordaan, the Smile Foundation co-ordinator, to give his mom all the information she needed.

Before Tshakholo’s surgery he looked a little different because his front teeth stuck out when he smiled. But now he looks beautiful! And his mom thinks so too. She cried so much after his operation. Tshakholo cried too, but not because he was sore – his doctors made sure he had no pain – just because he wanted to eat his favourite porridge!

The doctors showed his mom how to care for his wound, and now he can eat and drink without pain (and without making any mess!).



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