Portrait No 22: Diary of a cleft mummy. Before and during cleft operation.

Mama Estrella kept a diary during and prior to surgery. Here she shares her story, she talks about her conversations with God, who gave her strength. She describes her experiences and her observations. She describes how we all went to reach limits, she watched as I, the person from which she drew her strength itself was weak and had to find her strength again.

Through her experience I have learned to be more mindful and caring. Not only with my patients but also with myself. I‘ve learned that not everyone who wants the help is really ready for it. Half-hearted aid can do more harm. I’ve learned to listen even more to my intuition. That means sometimes alleged help” shall be rejected if the feeling tells you there’s something wrong. Our internal GPS system will guide us through our feelings and intuition. A journey into the trust. Continue reading

Cleft operation – the result brought tears into our eyes.

Leemcer Collage 1Since 5 months my three year old daughter and I, accompany as Rucksack Coach, the young family on their way. Leemcer Zeus was initially not strong enough for surgery. After 4 weeks waiting in Manila, we cheered together for the next X-ray examination. The result brought tears into our eyes. Leemcer’s pneumonia was not yet completely healed. An operation was not possible. The next X-ray examination could take place in not earlier than 4 weeks. The young family decided to return to Bohol and wait there. Would they come back? Would her flight again be sponsored by NCFP? I promised not to stop support until Leemcer Zeus receives his first operation.

On April 30, I brought Leemcer and parents again to Manila. NCFP sponsored the flight. Leemcer was operated by the specialists of NCFP on his cleft lip.

The healing is going very well  and if all goes well Leemcer Zeus will get his cleft palate surgery in 3 to 6 month.

Idea © Rucksack Coach – Photo © Ann-Kathrin Lange.

Portrait No 20: Her positive attitude opened new doors.

June Marie is the mom of cleft child Leemcer Zeus (8 months old).

Together with husband Resmeel she lovingly cares for son Leemcer. Leemcers cleft lip scars have not yet healed when the young family received negative news from Bohol. They were driven out of their home and have to start from scratch. Continue reading

Living with cleft patients and ghost in Manila. She died at the age of 34 and appeared at my 34th birthday.

Good morning Manila. 5:30 a.m. Well rested for another day, not really. The nights and days are really hot. It is summer in Manila and around 40° Celsius. I learned that the normal body temperature in the Philippines is considered to be 37°. In Germany I was used to 36° body temperature.

 

Where do you sleep?

Malia Luna and I stay with our remaining two cleft patients and their parents in the St. Joseph Transient House in Quezon City Manila. This place is run by the ICM-Immaculate Connception Missionary- Sisters. It is for the less fortunate people and their relatives who come from far away to Manila for operation. The relatives wait here until the patients get discharched from hospital and then the patients stay here until they recover or in some cases they stay for month and wait their turn for operation. Many different characters and energies come together. Continue reading

Portrait No 18: Allan

Allan is 24 years old. In march 2015 he got operated on his cleft palate on the same day as his two brothers Gerald and Benji. The operation was performed by the specialist of NCFP.

Allan was the oldest patient who was brought by Rucksack Coach from Bohol to Manila.

 

Idea © Rucksack Coach – Foto © Ann-Kathrin Lange.

Starting from the scratch with doormats. Never give up. And how you can support.

For 5 month now, my 3 year old daughter and me, accompany cleft patients on their long way to recovery. I was looking for them, driving to their homes to the different barangays and had gunmen following us. I brought them to different check-ups and went with them on a over 30hour journey to Manila. We rode together tricycle, multicap and jeepnis, taxi, pedicap, ferry and plane. I had support on the way and was suddenly left alone. But I had promised not to stop until all 10 patients received their first operation and they know how to get the follow up operations. (All operationa and compleat clft treatment done by NCFP). Now 5 month later all 10 patients have received their operation. One major step is done. Thank you to everyone to helped along the way. Also to the ones who had not the endurance to finish. I did learn from all of them.

Along the way I got to know patients and families very well.  We shared joy and tears, laughter and sorrows. The cleft patients and families became our friends and finally our family.

Continue reading

Portrait No 16: Jocelyn Natividad

 Jocelyn Natividad has delivered 10 children into this world. Two sons were born with a cleft lip and palate, one son with a cleft lip. As a mom of 10 children Jocelyn is very busy. Laundry is washed by hand and takes a long time to complete.

I wanted to give a great beauty shoot experience also to the mum. The photographer AnnKathrin Lange and assistant Melly Kieß made the shooting a very memorable one. Annka brought clothes that the women could keep.
Idea © Rucksack Coach  –   Photo © AnnKathrin Lange.

Portrait No 15: Welly Natividad

Welly Natividad, nickname Jhimboy is 15 years old and lives with his parents and his 9 siblings on Pangangan Island in the Philippines.
The family income is very low, so that Welly supporst his father when fishing to feed the family.

Welly was operated as a little boy on his cleft lip, but it was only in April 2015 that he received his follow-up operation for his cleftpalate. He was brought to the 1,000km distant capital Manila by Rucksack Coach and operated from NCFP.

Idea © Rucksack Coach –  Photo © AnnKathrin Lange.

 

Portrait No 12: What happens after cleft surgery? Did we change a live?