When life closes a door, it usually opens a window. Ummera’s condition has inspired us to go the extra miles to open the window of opportunity she was searching for. Her case is one of the most challenging facial deformities we ever witnessed. It’s not just a cleft lip or palate occurring in a child we’re usually accustomed to dealing with. It is a congenital facial deformity that has kept deteriorating with age. It slowly was choking the life out of the unfortunate teenage girl. Yet, the relentless teenager put up a brave fight. We, too, were determined to join Ummera in her battle to reclaim everyday life, no matter what it takes.
Ummera is a teenage girl from a low-income family in rural West Bengal. During our visit to her home, she started narrating her hardships. She said that since birth, she had a minor facial deformity. Her family took her to the hospital for medical examination. The doctor advised a surgical procedure. But due to lack of funds, the unfortunate family could not afford her treatment at the time. The result was grave for the child.
Her condition started worsening with the passing years. The facial deformity started deteriorating with the development of a lump of tissue covering one side of her face entirely. It covered an eye too. Ummera had tremendous pain in that eye. Her deformity was not only external but internal too. It had spread to her larynx and pharynx, causing immense pain to the teenage girl. But her pain didn’t just end with that.
Apart from physical trauma, Ummera is also a victim of mental trauma caused by ill-treatment and social ostracisation. Society looked down upon her as cursed and born with bad luck. Her peers believed that mere socialising with her would pass on her bad luck to them. Thus, away went her dream of studying at school. Depressed and fate struck, Ummera kept herself confined to household chores. Her misery and hardship are beyond words!
Owing to the financial crisis at home, the teenage girl worked as a domestic help to support her family despite all her pain. Both her parents were in tears while narrating their daughter’s struggle during all these years. They were tired. They had run from pillar to post for financial help for their daughter’s treatment. Still, they didn’t receive a single positive response. Discouraged and hopeless, they surrendered their daughter’s future to destiny.
Destiny, however, had her plans. Somehow we learned about Ummera, and we went to her home to meet her parents. We met her and heard about her. The teenager was going through excruciating pain. We decided to support her irrespective of what it costs us.
Ummera’s aggravated facial deformity condition suggested the need for multiple surgical procedures. Naturally, the cost incurred would be much more than a regular cleft surgery. However, we’re determined to gift Ummera a new life.
Going beyond our usual pledge, we have embarked on a mission to bring Ummera and her family smiles. Presently, she has undergone her first surgery and is doing well. We will closely monitor her and update on her surgery and transformation. Please support us and stay connected for more updates.