A New Smile for Yi Miang, China.


When Happy, out-going Yi Miang was born with a cleft lip and palate his family was shocked, “how did this come from me?” his Mother Lu Gong’e asked herself. Gong’e has twin daughters who were born without clefts which made it hard for her to understand how this could have happened to Yi Miang.

Yi Miang’s parents were always told that cleft was operable however, not at the hospital Yi Miang was born at. They began to search for hospitals that could operate on young Yi Miang, however, no hospitals nearby had the resources or specialists to do so. An Operation Smile representative visited Yi Miang’s village to spread the word about the upcoming mission in Lincang. Excited by the prospect of her son receiving a free, safe surgery Lu Gong’e along with her Mother-in-law accompanied Yi Miang to the mission site. After a 20-hour bus journey they arrived to the mission site and were surprised to see so many other children like Yi Miang waiting to be screened.

Australian medical volunteers gave Yi Miang a full medical evaluation and he was cleared to receive a surgery. Australian surgeons operated on Yi Miang’s cleft lip.

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 After Yi Miang’s surgery his Mother and Grandmother were amazed with the change in his face. Five months post op Yi Miang and his Mother travelled to another Operation Smile mission site in Bijie City, hoping that Yi Miang would once again be screened and cleared for surgery, this time to close his cleft palate. The happy one year old was cleared and received a surgery. While at both mission’s Lu Gong’e took lots of photos of the doctors, nurses and volunteers and hopes to show them to Yi Miang when he is older so that he can see all the people who changed his and his family’s lives forever.

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Lu Gong’e hopes that her son will grow up strong, healthy and will have a kind heart and a desire to help others, the way that the Operation Smile volunteers have helped him.

"We strive for a world where no child suffers the risks and uncertainties of a facial deformity."

- Richard Lewandowski, Plastic Surgeon, Co-Founder Operation Smile Australia