A Mother’s Report

You never know just how much ICSF's work impacts the lives of its patients. Five-year-old Tara had come to ICSF’s 2011 medical mission with an asymmetric bilateral (two-sided) cleft lip and a cleft palate. All went well with Tara's lip surgery and again with her palate surgery in February 2012. In July 2012 Tara was transported to ICSF’s annual speech therapy mission on a nearby island, where she excelled in learning how to speak with her newly repaired palate.

Tara before

Tara before treatment.

Seeing Tara and many of the other children learning to speak so well with the help of ICSF’s speech therapists, Theresa Snelling and Susan Stempel, was a joy. It is a fact that a dismally small percentage of cleft palate children treated by volunteer missions are able to speak normally after palate repair. The high failure rate in achieving normal speech in children treated by volunteer mission groups is likely due to the assembly-line style of care given, including hurried surgeries, little or no post-operative care, and no speech therapy.

Even though ICSF’s approach is much more comprehensive, we rarely get a voluntary field report from the mothers of our cleft palate patients. Tara’s mother was an exception. In August, Tara’s mother, without prompting, sent a text message:

Many in our town were surprised and amazed at Tara because she can now talk very well and her speech has improved a lot with no more traces that she once had a cleft palate.. I give my heart-felt gratitude for the help that you all have given to the kids especially Tara. I can’t pay you for your kindness with money as we are poor but I will always pray that you will always have good health, free from any ailment so that you can continue to help those poor people that need your help.
Tara after

Tara gives the “victory” sign after lip and palate surgery and speech therapy.

We know that Tara’s success story in not unique because many times when we see our patients in follow-up we ask how the child is doing in school and socially, and we get a similar glowing report. There are no other organizations that perform the degree of follow-up and comprehensive care that ICSF does for its patients. I feel confident in saying that ICSF’s patients are truly fortunate to be treated by an organization that cares about each individual the way we do.

ICSF’s uniqueness is not limited to our medical work but includes our supporters. Thank you, our donors, for giving Tara and hundreds of children like her a true opportunity to succeed in life: “Everyone Was Born to Smile!”

Dr. Geoff Williams
President, ICSF
P.O. Box 4594
Boise, Idaho 83711-4594
(208) 375-8132

Design by Melissa Ventura, Development by Drew Bertola and Walter Martin.