Josue was born with a serious cleft palate and was brought to Thousand Smiles at the age of 2-1/2. Surgeons created a treatment plan and over the course of several surgeries in 16 years reworked his mouth, teeth, and nose. Now, at the age of 20, he is ready for a whole new life ahead!
Although Josue was born in Sonora, he didn’t have his first surgery until after he was 2 years old because the doctors there didn’t think he was strong enough.
He was undernourished because he couldn’t drink properly and the family was so poor that they often didn’t have enough to eat either. His father was a field worker while Josue and his mom lived in a shelter.
Seeking a better life the family moved to Ensenada, where his mom heard about Thousand Smiles and brought Josue to the clinic.
Now at age twenty, after a series of surgeries to repair his cleft issues and help his hearing, he is able to eat properly. Josue is the oldest of six children. All the children and their mother often work alongside their father in the fields to help support the family.
Josue has some speech problems still but is working with a therapist weekly, thanks to the kindness of Thousand Smiles volunteers.
One of these volunteers is Dr. Margaret Baker who has befriended Josue’s family and been an advocate for this young man for many years. She was instrumental in getting Josue to and from the Hospital Infantil for his ear surgeries and appointments when the TSF doctors decided his hearing could be improved.
Loma Linda Nurse and TSF volunteer, Susana Degollado, arranged for his weekly speech therapy appointments with a Spanish speaking therapist. Josue is hopeful now to find a better job to help his family!
This is just one success story out of many of the Thousand Smiles holistic approach our patients have experienced since 1985!