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Saving for Surgery While Living on $4 a Day

Myanmar

6-year-old Phyo (pronounced “Few”) loved to learn, but she dreaded going to school because of her cleft lip.

“Some kids said I’m ugly. They made fun of me,” she said. “When I couldn’t take it I tried to hide. Sometimes I didn’t want to go to school.”

Phyo’s (Few’s) parents work as rice farmers in Myanmar. Ever since their daughter was born, they’ve tried to save to pay for surgery.  But their combined wages of just four dollars a day have made that task impossible.     

“When people mock my daughter, I get so upset. It hurts me when they laugh at her,” recalled Phyo’s mother, Hla Hla (La La).

Eight-year-old Nyein (Nee-en), who loves and tries to protect Phyo, has watched her sister suffer. 

“My sister cried when other kids made fun of her,” she said fighting back tears. “When that happens, I want to be there for her.”

Then there are Phyo’s physical challenges like eating and drinking. 

“She chokes and the food and water spill out of her mouth and nose,” her mom said. “That makes me cry. But I try to hide my tears from her.”

A pastor told the family about Operation Blessing. We quickly arranged for Phyo to travel to the city to receive free cleft palate surgery. The operation was successful, and the little girl soon had a new smile.  

 “When I look in the mirror, I feel so happy! Thank you for changing my life!” said a beaming Phyo. 

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