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Greetings from Bangalore,

We hope that you have had a good start to 2018. Here is our latest update, we hope that you enjoy reading it. In the busyness of everyday work and family life we are continually aware of our reliance on God’s grace and protection.


(Names have been changed to protect confidentiality).

Before surgery

Nidhi is a 3 month old baby who was born with a complete cleft lip and associated deformity of her nose. Surgery was carried out to repair the lip and improve the shape of the nose. Nidhi’s parents would like to express their appreciation to those who have donated to make their daughter’s surgery possible.

After surgery


Sandeep is a 21 year old student who had a severe under-bite and prominent chin, due to his upper jaw being small compared to his lower jaw. He was experiencing difficulty chewing and pain from his jaw joint (TMJ).

Before surgery

To aid in treatment planning, a dental model was made and an acrylic model of the skull 3D printed from the CT scan. Derick worked closely with the local orthodontist to plan the positioning of the jaw and teeth.

Surgery (Le Fort 1 maxillary advancement) was carried out to move the upper jaw forward, and improve the bite. Genioplasty was also performed to improve the appearance of the chin.

Sandeep is happy with the outcome. He is now able to eat normally and is continuing with his studies.

After surgery


Abdul is a young man from Yemen who was the victim of a bomb blast. The impact shattered his right eye socket, resulting in the lost of his eye. A piece of bone was also dislodged into his skull. The right side of Abdul’s face was flattened and he had leakage of tears. Although he was wearing an artificial eye, there was no support for this and it kept falling out. Surgery was not possible in Yemen, where there is ongoing conflict, and so Abdul traveled to Bangalore for treatment.

Before surgery

A 3D printed model of the skull was used to plan the treatment.

3D printed model

Surgery was carried out to reconstruct the orbit (eye socket) and fix the displaced bone into the correct position. In a second operation tendon, transferred from the thigh, was used to attach the upper eyelid to the forehead muscle, enabling opening and closing of the eye. The lower eyelid was also reconstructed and a new artificial eye was fitted.

After surgery

After surgery

Abdul is doing well following surgery. He is returning to Yemen but would need to visit Bangalore if any follow-up treatment is required.


Complex surgeries are expensive. Those who can afford to fund their own treatment. Where this is not possible, surgeries are either partially or fully subsidised. We are thankful to to those who have donated to make this possible.



Some of you may remember Raju (name changed), whose story we shared on this blog in November  2013. When he was around 11 years old, some children poured kerosene over him and struck a match, which resulted in burns over seventy percent of his body. By God’s grace he survived but, due to the severe burns, the surrounding skin began to pull together resulting in contractures which caused deformity and restriction of movement. Five operations were required to release the various contractures. Recently Raju came to Bangalore Baptist Hospital with his mother to meet Derick. He is doing well at school and is now studying for his 10th standard exams (equivalent of GCSE’s in the UK). He is a keen sports player and enjoys football and cricket.




In January, Derick spent one week observing a renowned Indian cleft surgeon, Dr. Hirji S. Adenwalla (left of photograph) in the neighbouring state of Kerala. Dr. Adenwalla heads The Charles Pinto Cleft Centre at Thrissur’s Jubilee Mission Hospital, which wasthe first Smile Train centre in India. He is 86 years old and still working. Derick appreciated the opportunity to learn from Dr. Adenwalla’s expertise.


Vivienne recently completed and submitted the final dissertation research project for her Master’s in Public Health.

The study aimed to investigate any association between folic acid supplements taken in early pregnancy and the risk of cleft lip and palate for babies in Bangalore. This was done using a retrospective questionnaire for mothers and comparing factors during pregnancy between one group whose babies were born with clefts and another group without clefts. After using a statistical model to control for other potential risk factors, mothers who took separate folic acid supplements before and/or during the first trimester of pregnancy were less likely to have a baby with cleft lip and palate. However, results for other types of supplements containing folic acid varied and mothers were often unable to recall exactly which type of supplements were taken when. Overall, the percentage of mothers taking supplements in early pregnancy was low, which also has public health implications for the prevention of other conditions affecting mothers and their babies.

The research project was the most challenging part of the master’s programme from the University of Liverpool on-line. Vivienne is enjoying having more free time after finishing her studies. She plans to continue learning and gain experience working in the area of international public health in the future.

At the end of October, Vivienne enjoyed a day out in the hills just outside Bangalore with some friends.

The children are all growing fast and enjoying their school and hobbies. A current favourite is building with Lego together.

We went to Mumbai at the end of December for a wedding and celebrated Christmas with extended family there. It was a good break and the children especially enjoyed the long train ride there and back.

Rebecca on the sleeper train

Samuel continues to enjoy chess and last weekend won the monthly rapid chess tournament  at his chess academy for the first time.

Photo taken at wedding in Mumbai

We appreciate the continued encouragement and support from our friends and family around the world.

Derick, Vivienne, Samuel, Naomi & Becky.

vivmen at 21:47


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