For three-year-old Phigy, Christmas this year will produce a smile following the successful repair of his Tessier craniofacial cleft – a rare and visibly distressing condition that causes significant trauma.
Phigy was first seen by Interplast surgeons in 2016 during one of our visits to the Solomon Islands, however, immediate surgery was not feasible due to his incredibly young age. Making the difficult decision to leave the surgery until a later date, Phigy’s short childhood remained one filled with great challenge.
A simple trip outside the family home was one filled with negativity and distress. Phigy’s ability to experience the one thing we want for our children – happiness – was greatly diminished as a result of his condition.
“We would hesitate to take Phigy out because people would make negative comments.”– Charity: Phigy’s mum.
Through the generosity of Interplast’s valued supporters, together with the incredible talents of Interplast plastic and reconstructive volunteer surgeon, Dr. Zac Moaveni and a broader team of Interplast health professionals, Phigy underwent major facial surgery at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara during 2017 and was followed up again during 2018.
According to Dr. Moaveni, “it was a highlight of our visit this year to catch up with Phigy and his amazing family and see how he is thriving!”
Thanks to Interplast and local surgeons in Honiara, Phigy can smile just like his mother.
What are you giving this Christmas?
Interplast believe every child should be able to smile. Your donation this festive season will help bring a smile to children like Phigy.
My family have all agreed that instead of presents, we’re each going to donate to a charity, including Interplast. Many of us in Australia take simple things like access to essential health care for granted.
Having first gone to the Solomon Islands in 1984, Interplast Australia & New Zealand is now working in 17 countries across the Asia Pacific region and has undertaken approximately 45,000 patient consultations, together with 26,000 surgical procedures. Importantly, through your generous support we have been able to build local capacity so patient care can be delivered when Interplast isn’t there.
Globally, it is estimated that 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to save lives and prevent disability. Many people requiring this support live in the Asia Pacific region.
Interplast will never be able to do it alone, but our commitment to building capacity amongst health professionals in the region means each year we can ensure more children are able to smile.
This festive season, please assist Interplast to undertake life-changing work across the Asia Pacific region by making a tax-deductible donation. To donate or find out more please visit: www.interplast.org.au