Angel’s story, in her mother’s words

Children First brought Angel and her father Dale to Australia where Mr Walter Flapper from the Craniofacial Unit at Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital performed Angel’s life-changing surgery.

Angel was right at home the minute she arrived at Children First’s Miracle sMiles Retreat.  It was easy to ignore the disfiguring growth that covered the centre of her face and see only the happy little girl who loved singing, dancing, and playing the keyboard every chance she got.  Angel was in Australia for only 8 weeks but the outcome for her and her family will last a lifetime. She came to us from a country without the resources to provide the surgery she desperately needed.  Your tax deductible donation will make a real difference to more children like Angel.

We hope you enjoy reading her mother’s heartwarming story.

My family lives in a rural area where most people are farmers and fishermen. I’m a government employee and the bread winner for my family. My husband Dale and I have four children – three girls and one boy.  Angel is our youngest and she is 4 years old.

November 2012: When Angel was born I was worried, because I didn’t hear her cry.  After half an hour the doctor told me of my baby’s condition and that she was taken by ambulance to another hospital.  It was five days before I saw her. When I first saw her I cried a lot.  She had a protrusion from her forehead which hung down to cover her nose.  We soon learned this was a meningo-encephalocoel

March 2013: When Angel was four months old, surgeons operated to cover the inner part of her forehead to protect her brain.  This cost us $200,000 pesos. After this we could not afford any further treatment at that time.  It pained me a lot, every day to see my baby in this condition

February 2014: Dale is the one who cared for Angel since she was 15 months old.  We decided he would stay home while I worked. He’s a dedicated father with the gift of patience.

September 2015: We filled Angel with love and confidence, though we seldom let her out of our house. She played only with her siblings and cousins.  When she saw a child in a public place she would befriend them. Other kids would get scared but she smiled at them.  I know she is aware they are scared of her. One time a little boy shouted ‘monster’ to her, and instead of running away she patted his shoulder and said ‘hi’.  I have so many fears for her future.  I’m afraid of the time she has to go to school. I am sure kids will bully her. She’s smart. She loves to sing and dance.  But she hasn’t experienced playing with other kids.

November 2015: We went to City Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City and met Dr Mike of Interplast.  He told me they should bring her case to Australia and find a sponsor.  Luckily Children First Foundation replied.

August 2016:  While Angel is in Australia her siblings miss her.  They pray for her safety and recovery every day.

September 2016: When we saw the first photos of Angel after the operation we all cried for joy.  We are counting the days until she’s home.  Seeing her in her new face, I am just so happy and lucky and blessed. I know a good and bright future awaits for my little Angel. Though scars are still there this time but time will come that those scars will fade totally.

Let me have this opportunity to give thanks to the people who brought my little Angel to Australia and gave her a life changing surgery. Thank you Children First Foundation for supporting us from the beginning till now. For not giving up on us.  Cypress, Angel’s mum

Photo credits:Eddie Jim The Age, Nicholas Marshall, Cypress Salon