Kyziah’s story

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“Kyziah is so happy and confident. She no longer hides behind her hair. To everyone that helped to change her life, I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for your kind hearts. Thank you for helping to change the lives of kids like Kyziah.” This is the lovely message we recently received from Jobelle, Kyziah’s mum.

Kyziah, five, from the Philippines was born with a tessier facial cleft, running from her mouth, cheeks and eyes.

“When Kyziah was four years old, she started noticing the cleft and asking about it and why she looked different. As her mother, I was really concerned about what it would be like for her growing up. If people would treat her differently. If she would have a hard life because of it. I really wanted her to have the cleft repaired before she started school”, says Jobelle.

Kyziah was seen by two Australian surgeons, Mr James Leong and Mr William Blake, who were volunteering at an Interplast clinic in the Philippines. As her surgery could not be done in-country, she was referred to Children First Foundation.

With mum Jobelle before surgery.

Kyziah and Jobelle arrived in Australia in August 2019 for her life-changing surgery and treatment. Kyziah’s surgery took place in November 2019, thanks to plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Mr David Chong, and Northpark Private Hospital.

The operation took over five hours. After an overnight stay at the hospital, Kyziah and Jobelle were delighted to return to The Retreat. Over the next few weeks, Kyziah rested and recovered. As the swelling eased and scars healed, you’d spot her catching glimpses of herself in the mirror, looking very pleased. It quickly became apparent that Kyziah’s transformation was not just physical but internal too.

Back home, Kyziah started school earlier this year, but due to the pandemic, she is currently home-schooling.

“Although she is very eager to attend school properly, Kyziah is doing well at home-schooling. Thankfully, while we were at The Retreat, I observed what the volunteer teachers were doing with the kids. I learnt a lot from them, so I have been using this when I am home-schooling Kyziah” says Jobelle.

“She is learning to write numbers and letters. She loves drawing and art and will spend hours colouring. She loves playing with her neighbourhood friends and her cousins. Kyziah is just doing what normal kids do. Most importantly, she is happy. I am very proud of her.”

Please help more children, like Kyziah, access surgery and treatment that will transform their lives, by donating today.


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