Portrait No 5 – Baby Nina Grace receives cleft lip operation

Nina Grace Maquiling, 15 month

Baby Nina Grace Maquiling

I met Nina Grace and her family for the first time in January 2015.

Nina had a cleft-palate-cleft-lip, she was borderline underweight and suffered for weeks of pneumonia which could not heal properly.

After I visited their home, I organized various check-ups. The first priority was to get Nina healthy and to build her up for an operation. She received additional nutrients and food, medical care and medicine.

Her parents took her regularly each week to a check-up. Without the cooperation and dedication of parents such an undertaking can not be done.

Nina slowly put on weight. The medicine started to work, but the X-ray examination showed that the lungs were not yet entirely free. Nina was not ready for surgery. I stood in close contact with Mel Mildred Maran, the Executive Director of Craniofacial Foundation Philippines Inc. Noordoff, short NCFP. What should we do?

I planned to bring 10 cleft patients from Bohol to Manila. We all knew that this was a special undertaking. My job was also to monitor each and every step along the way and to analyze. How could we generate a permanent aid for cleft patients from Bohol and the Philippines out of this one-time action.

Nina’s chances to get well were very low, as long as the family had not enough money to feed her nutritious meals. In Miss Mel of NCFP I found the ideal partner. We agreed that we had to help. Humanity and compassion had to be put over statistics and calculations. In this particular case, an exception could be made. As I analyzed the entire process, Nina Grace could come with me to Manila.

2015-05-02 07.16.38(1)A week before leaving, I received a call from the health center. Nina had discovered pneumonia again. The doctors could not issue free medicine and the parents had no money to pay them. I let the parents be contact through my Filipino translator and informed them where they should pick up the medicine. I asked the pharmacy to give them the medicine and promised  to pay this evening. Later I learned that the father of Nina, was already active. Instead of sitting at home and waiting to see if someone would come to lend them the money for the medicine, he went to the mayor and asked him to vouch for the medicine, so that he could provide his daughter with medicine on the same day. Later I paid the entire medication and out of this experience I had the confirmation that it was right ta take Nina Grace, even if all the odds spoke against it. Her parents were willing to take the initiative. What we were able to give them, what I could give them was encouragement. I could strengthen them for their future path. Because Nina Grace has come a long way to go with some more operation to do. What she needs is strong parents who take the initative.

In Manila NCFP offered an complete care package. Miss Mel organized additional donors and Nina Grace could be supplied with everything she needed. She received extra food and vitamins as well as regular check-ups. Nina steadily gained weight, but her pneumonia and her asthma required additional and close attention.

On April 7, 2015, after nearly 6 weeks Manila Nina Grace was successfully operated on her cleft lip! God bless all those who were involved through him to perform this miracle.

Nina Grace and her family received a proffesional beauty shoot. A framed portrait should give them courage in weak moments and remind them how far they have already come. If you want to sponsor Ninas Portrait for €3,32  you can donate her. Please specifiy with “Ninas Portrait”.

All actions that I undertake as Rucksack Coach I currently fiance almost entirely from my savings. If you like what I am doing and you wish to support me, you can donate here.

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Translation: German

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