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The excitement that Eden Rose and Eugene felt at the birth of their first child soon turned to despair when Jinden Juarez Was born with a Unilateral Cleft Lip. Both parents had seen people with cleft lips before, but they never imagined that it would happen to them. Concerned about what life would have in store for their baby, the new parents found support in each other and among their parents, and the hospital staff. The nurses at the hospital gave Eden Rose and Eugene hope when they told them that surgery was possible, and advised them to check in with their local Health Centre for news of a medical team coming to the area to help children like Jinden. Eden Rose contacted several organizations before she learned about Operation Smile. 

Closely following the Operation Smile Facebook Page for a few months, Eden Rose saw the dates for the upcoming mission in Silay. Jinden was now one year old, and the wait was finally over. With nerves and excitement, the small family traveled to the hospital in Silay. When they saw countless other families with the same problem as Jine, they became more nervous. After completing the screening process, Jinden was tired and crying. The family returned home to wait for the surgical schedule, hoping for the good news that Jinden would be approved for surgery. On Monday the long awaited call came – Jinden’s surgery was scheduled for Wednesday. 

Eden Rose was so excited for her daughter’s surgery that she couldn’t sleep on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday Morning they visited the Cathedral on the way to the hospital, pausing to say a prayer for the successful outcome of Jinden’s surgery. Everyone in the Operation Smile operating team soon fell in love with Jinden and her cheeky smile. Among the surgical staff was co-founder of Operation Smile Australia, Dr. Richard Lewandowski. After 24 hours in the hospital, Jinden, carried in the arms of her loving parents, was ready to return home to start a new life. Just before leaving, Eden Rose approached each of the doctors, nurses, and volunteers who cared for her precious daughter. To thank them, she gave them a beautiful letter of thanks. 

Through the best quality of care, the lives of our patients and their families are changed forever. We are continually grateful for the unmatched generosity of our medical volunteers and donors.

Letter: “To the staff nurses, volunteers, and doctors who helped to make this operation a successful one. From the bottom of my heart I would like to say thank you for making my daughter Jinden Juriz a very beautiful girl right now … this is the most wonderful gift I have ever had. To: Margharet (Margherita) (photographer) Thank you for supporting her since the operation to the recovery. You always taking pictures of her. To: Madison, Katie, and Cathryn (International Student Volunteers, Speech Pathologist) My baby is very happy when the three of you are playing and she is joining with your game–that was the FIRST TIME we saw her very happy. To:Dr. Richard (Richard Lewandowski, Australian Volunteer, Silay City) What we feel right now that Juriz is a normal kid today. We are so blessed that you are her doctor. We owe this to you Dr. Richard … God Bless. The picture of this girl will be the new Jinden Juriz! (Letter written on a coloring book page) THANK YOU SO MUCH OPERATION SMILE! This is now the new journey of Jinden Juriz.”