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Donors Transform Lives

Monday, August 5th, 2013 -- With the help of generous donors, a 22-year-old was able to undergo the third and final cleft palate surgery in the Winter of 2012. She was able to obtain a job at a restaurant in January 2013 and enrolled at the FEMAP School of Nursing in the summer of 2013.

Susana Franco Lopez, 22 years old, had her second cleft palate surgery at 13 years of age but due to economic restraints, was unable to obtain the third and final reconstructive surgery until now. By designating their donations to the Boquitas Bonitas Fund, donors Betty Ruth Haley, Sallie Bagget and Dr. Paul Ro gifts were used to help Susana.

For the first time in the history of the 10 year program, Hospital administrators decided to work on an adult. “Susana came to us for help and we realized that this final procedure would transform her life,” explains Dr. Gustavo Martinez., Director for the FEMAP Hospitals. “How could we not help her?”

"I am very excited. I am so happy to be employed,” says Miss Franco, who earns 800 pesos a week ($64 US). “Now I am not scared to be seen and am a productive member of society.” Miss Franco Lopez lives with her mother and is now helping support her 70 year-old grandmother and her two 12 year-old cousins who live with her.

The surgery’s cost was $1,461 which included the purchase of a metal jaw implant and hospitalization. Dr. De la Torre donated his time.