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James pre-operation. Photo by: Shehab Uddin.

Five-year-old James from Cebu, Philippines was brought to Brisbane, Australia under Operation Smile Australia’s World Care Program in July 2017. James received a life-changing surgery from Dr Richard Lewandowski and a team of medical volunteers. The team performed a reconstructive surgery, including bone grafts, to repair a complex facial cleft.

While James and his mother Wendy were in Brisbane they stayed with a wonderful local host family, Jackie and Gary Arnold. This is the third time Jackie and Gary have kindly opened their home to a World Care Patient! 

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James and Mother Wendy with local host family, Jackie and Gary Arnold. James pre-operation. Photo by: Shehab Uddin.

During his stay, James met some of the local Australian wildlife (koalas), took a ferry ride down the Brisbane river and even had the chance to visit the Marvel Superhero Exhibition at the local art gallery. James said his own superpower was BRAVERY! On the day of surgery as well as after, we saw just how true this was, superhero James was extremely brave and recovered very well after his operation.

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James and Mother Wendy, post operation. James pre-operation. Photo by: Shehab Uddin.

When James first arrived to us he was very shy and standoffish with other children due to the bullying he has been subjected to his whole life. After his surgery James appeared more confident and happy to interact with everyone. We are certain that James’ future is going to be bright.

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James with Operation Smile Co-Founder, Dr Richard Lewandowski. James pre-operation. Photo by: Shehab Uddin.

"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