Haunted Eyes

The young man's eyes first captured my attention. They seemed to scream "Why am I alive, why am I here?!?" In fact, I saw his eyes first, then saw the cleft lip and palate. I later found out, the young man who was twenty-one years old, was named Shivanna. His mother told us that because of his cleft, his family, fellow villagers, teachers all teased him by calling him Ganesh after the Hindu god who had a similar mouth.

I grieved for this young man. My mind drifted back to the hurtful names I had heard hurled at my own son, Philip. I could identify with Shivanna's pain. I was also reminded of similarities between both Shivanna and Philip when I heard his life story. In spite of the unmerciful teasing, the young man persevered in school. He worked hard in spite of his speech impediment to achieve associates degree in Automotive Mechanics.

What a courageous young man! We at LWR are thrilled to be a part of the recovery journey of this handsome young man. We have completed 3 surgeries for Shivanna to help him in his transformation. He is destined to be a productive citizen with a passion to help the underprivileged. Now we can see hope in his eyes. Thank you for your support for Shivanna.

SHIVANNA

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Shivanna's Cleft Palate
LWR's team of surgeons were able to repair Shivanna's palate. However because his palate was not repaired as a child, Shivanna still has problems with his speech.
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Shivanna as a child.
Because of his bi-lateral cleft they nicknamed him after a Hindu God.
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Shivanna Before Surgery
When Shivanna came to see us, his eyes looked sad and haunted.
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Shivanna at home
Shivanna lives in a village many miles away from Bangalore.
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Shivanna After Surgery
After surgery Shivanna changed his hair style and came to us looking like a film star!