Meet Josue!

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!

Thousand Smiles,
I want to thank you for everything you have done for me, forever and eternally I will be very grateful!!
For the revisions and operations for me you have done for me and the other children you work with.
It is true that you have come to help us a lot with a big heart.
I love you very much and God always bless you!!
It has been many years that you have helped me and at no cost or anything, have helped me a lot in my speech and helping with my ear, my teeth, and all of my surgeries, for all of it.
I wrote this letter to you with all my heart and hope and would like, blessings for all the club of Thousand Smiles and your family!

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.

Good evening, Kim, Hector, Mike, and Susana,

I was so happy to read the news this morning about the availability of speech therapy for Josue! And want to thank you for the special effort and arrangements to help Josue. His mother called just now to tell me that she had spoken with Susana and are set to go to the first session in person on Saturday afternoon.

This is yet another wonderful gift for Josue… and just a few days after his 20th birthday. Josue and his family have benefitted greatly from all the care you and other Rotarians and Thousand Smiles volunteers have provided over the years… and they are very appreciative.

A thousand thanks!
Margaret A. Baker, DrPH

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!

Please donate and help us to change another child’s life forever.