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Ephraim finds his smile

Teased and bullied out of school at the age of seven because of a cleft lip. Ephraim Moyo has long been acquainted with the harsher realities of life. Now 29 years old and the proud father of two boys Ephraim has been given the gift of his true smile thanks to the work of Operations Smile and its loyal partners.

"It is always a great privilege to help people but the older patients often appreciate the experience more profoundly because they understand the change so much better," said plastic surgeon Dr. Anton Potgieter.

Ephraim, who is originally from Limpopo, now lives and works in Pretoria in the oil and gas industry. It was a fortunate turn of events that led him to the life-changing operation when a chance visitor to his place of work informed him about Operation Smile's SA mission being held in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

After being screened and approved for surgery Moyo was designated as the first patient of the mission and so it was amidst much excitement on the parts of volunteers, nurses and surgeons that he was welcomed into the operating room. Just an hour later he emerged with his cleft lip a thing of the past and a clear desire to see his partner and children and show them his new smile.

"It is unbelievable that in this day and age that people can get to the age of 29 with a cleft lip and without having received surgery. It is wonderful that Operation Smile can help these patients," said surgical team leader Dr. Conrad Pienaar. 



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