Upon learning that she was pregnant with triplets, the entire family of Ms. Huynh T. M. in Gia Lai was extremely happy. But the joy was not complete when the prenatal screening results showed that all three children had congenital cleft lip and palate. During long nights, Ms. M. could only swallow her tears because her children were not healthy like other children. Giving birth to triplets is already rare, but having all three with congenital cleft lip and palate is perhaps an unprecedented case.
| After moments of tension, happiness overflowed
During prenatal check-ups, upon knowing that Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital would collaborate with foreign organizations to perform surgeries on patients with congenital cleft lip and palate, Ms. M. immediately registered her children while still in her pregnancy. When the children were 4 months old, meeting the criteria of time and weight, they underwent surgeries. Standing outside the operating room, the mother could only pray for the successful surgeries of her three children. After what seemed like an endless time, when the children were taken to the recovery room and received special care, the whole family was allowed to visit.
"It was utterly astonishing and unbelievable. Before the surgery, the appearance of the children was completely different. When I saw them after the surgery, tears of happiness just kept flowing endlessly. So, my children now have normal faces like any other kids. I held my husband's hand tightly, then turned to him, asking repeatedly: These are really our children. Aren’t they?" Ms. M. recalled emotionally.
| Hang in there, my child!
Le T. T. N. (Thua Thien Hue) was born with congenital cleft lip and palate. Previously, she underwent 2 surgeries. N.’s kid, now 3.5 years old, inherited the condition from his mother and also underwent surgeries twice. However, despite the surgeries, both N. and his mother’s surgeries were not successful, and the deformities were still evident, leaving many scars on their faces. When they came for examination and surgery at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital, under a foreign collaboration program, the doctors noticed that the mother also had a congenital defect. Therefore, the doctors advised surgery for both the mother and daughter.
After 3 months, coincidentally meeting the N. family enjoying warm December days at Vong Canh Hill, the whole family was cheerful and happy. The surgeries for both the mother and son were a complete success. N.'s voice is now clear. Every time the girl looks at her smiling son, her face shows a clear, adorable expression under the afternoon sunshine.
Nearly 3 months after the surgery, smiles have appeared, returned, and will continue every day in many small homes, where just a few months ago, there was a heavy atmosphere, sometimes almost suffocating. The future has once again opened up for these children. That future is partly connected by the "angelic" hands of Vietnamese doctors along with foreign doctors.
| Foreign doctors comforting the child before surgery
Through the sound from the phone, the cries for the mother of Ms. Huynh T. M.'s children could be heard. After calming the child, Ms. M. shared that her family is in Gia Lai, and their financial situation is not very affluent. Fortunately, all the surgery costs, including the period of stay in Hue, were completely free. The family can only express heartfelt gratitude to the doctors, organizations, and the hospital that supported and brought back smiles to their children. She hopes that many other cases of congenital defects will also receive free surgeries like her children.
Representatives from Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital stated that in 2023, the university and the hospital collaborated with organizations to perform two periods carrying out surgeries for patients with congenital cleft lip and palate. In September 2023, in collaboration with Operation International and Design Capital Asia, 40 children diagnosed with congenital cleft lip and palate, as well as post-surgery defects such as scars, lip and nose deformities from many provinces and cities nationwide, underwent surgery. Before that, in July 2023, the unit collaborated with a team of experts from Jeonbuk National University, South Korea, and dental treatment institutions from South Korea and Japan to perform surgeries for over 30 children with various defects.
| Many new techniques being applied have brought high effectiveness after surgery
Dr. Mai Ba Hai, Deputy Head of the Department of the Research - International Affairs – Training, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital, recalled that during September 2023, the early surgery for infants at 10 weeks old according to international standards for congenital cleft lip and palate was specially performed. Many new surgical techniques were applied, resulting in good clinical outcomes for the children. Moreover, the team successfully performed surgeries for the rare case of triplets all born with defects; the surgeries for both the mother and children simultaneously. The surgeries went smoothly, and the patients recovered well, bringing smiles, joy, and everlasting happiness to the unlucky children, young families, as well as the medical staff.
|Leaders of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy meeting with experts in the collaborative project
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Vu Quoc Huy, Rector of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, affirmed that the recent collaborations to perform surgeries for patients with congenital cleft lip and palate laid the foundation for long-term cooperation in the future, not only in surgeries for congenital cleft lip and palate but also in other specialties such as Orthopedics – Thoracic Trauma, Urology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Cardiology, and more. This is a mission to continue on bringing benefits to more patients and the community. It is also the mission that medical professionals must fulfill.