tv Nightly Business Report PBS October 25, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
[ loudspeaker in foreign language ] this is the day everyone's been waiting for. hundreds of families have been gathered here in the hot sun since very early this morning, after having spent the last two nights on the floor in the hospital. they're hoping and praying to hear their child's name called, to hear that they've been selected for surgery. they've been calling out children's names for over an hour now, and the families that haven't been called are getting worried. you can feel the tension and anxiety in the air. [ calling names in foreign language ] that's sut! i'm so happy he's been chosen. he's eager, he's old enough to understand how this will change his life. [ calling names in foreign language ]
there's our little guy, son. his mom must be so relieved. now he'll have his chance to be normal, just like all the other boys in the village. [ speaking in foreign language ] that's it. no more names to be called. they've also posted the list, so now the parents are double-checking, hoping against hope that they missed hearing their name called. [ foreign language ] [ music ] witnessing the process of selection here, i find myself drawn to the faces of the mothers. as a mother myself, i was deeply impacted, first, by the anxiety and the anticipation and the hope of having come this far and hoping that their child's name would be called. knowing that, what stands between your name being called out or not being called out, is a question of money.
it seems rather simple then, that i should stand here and ask you to look into your heart and to do something to help us, to help them. so please, call now. because together, we can make miracles happen. >> announcer: you can provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now, by becoming an operation smile partner. it costs only $240. or, if you prefer, you can pledge $20 a month. your gifts will help send our teams and equipment all year round and help ensure that we can provide surgery, free of charge, to every child in need, so no child has to be turned away. thousands of children are waiting. please, go to your phone now. help us change lives, one smile at a time.
[ music ] [ children laughing ] >> roma downey: sut's one of the first children to have surgery this morning and he's ready to go! >> come on, whoo! here we go! [ background talking ] [ music ] >> roma downey: sut just took a look at the operating room. i guess he's having second thoughts! but he's in very good hands. [ music ] >> dr. lawrence kurtzman: i got involved with operation smile way back in 1987, just a few years after it started. i thought i'd go for a few trips. i thought i'd see another culture and here i am, 15 years later, 20 missions later, 500 children later,
and still loving every child that i take care of and still planning on going for the next 15 years and operating on 500 more children. >> roma downey: sut's mom is waiting right outside the door. this must be very frightening for her. [ music ] >> dr. lawrence kurtzman: we come to these countries halfway we bring everything, from the dequipment for the anesthesia, to all the sutures, and all the equipment we need, we want to make this absolutely, 100% as safe as the united states and the quality we want just as high. it's incredible, in 45 minutes, i can operate on a child and take him from someone who's shunned from society, someone who doesn't go to school, someone who was ostracized, to someone who's a normal, fun-loving, great kid, who you'd be proud of to be your own child. [ music ]
>> roma downey: to see a mother's face light up when she sees her child's face transformed, the gratitude beyond words, that's the only reward that's needed. [ music ] >> noreen kessler: they come out and you just see a whole new person, a whole new beginning. it's almost like they're reborn. and it's just, it's, i can't think of another word but phenomenal. >> dr. bill magee: a child is the only language that we all have in common. it really doesn't matter what your race, your color,
your creed, your culture. what matters is that we all use our energies, and our talents. we've got the tools, we've got the hands, we've got the bodies. now we just need all of us to participate and then the world really will change. i was talking to sut's mom before surgery, and she told me that, after surgery, no one will call him sut anymore, because sut means hair lip. from now on, she said, he'll go by his real name, which is thanh, and that means blue sky. i told thanh after surgery, from now on, the sky is the limit. he's a great kid. >> [foreign language]. >> are you going to be a doctor now? [ speaking in foreign language ] [ children ] [ music ]
>> roma downey: son is getting ready to go into surgery now. of all the moms i've met here, i feel truly connected to son's mother. even though we don't speak the same language, she's so expressive and she wears her heart on her sleeve. >> he's going to be so beautiful. >> dr. bill magee: so let me mark that right there. and i want to make a little triangle here. so it's very important to get it now. one of the most important things that we have the opportunity to do on the trip is share knowledge. when we first came to vietnam in 1988, they proudly told me that 1,000 children had been treated with cleft since 1951. but now, with the armies of people that we've mobilized around the world and here in vietnam, in just a little over 10, 12 years, they've done 27,000 on their own, because of that stimulus.
[ music ] >> roma downey: oh, my goodness. that's, it really is one of the most beautiful things that i have ever, ever experienced, next to the birth of my daughter, to see his little face restored. you know, the next amazing thing will be when we bring his mother in. she was so worried about him outside. you can only imagine how anxious she must be to be reunited with him. as a mother myself, i'm like in major identification with her at this point. it's all i can do not just to, you know, run out there and drag her in. but they have to wait for the baby to recover a wee bit from the operation. [ music ]
>> isn't he beautiful? why don't you sit down and i'll give you time. there, okay. okay. [ laughter ] [ music ] [ child talking in foreign language ] >> son's mom: it is unbelievable that this day has come because we are poor, we could not even dream of this day. this is the happiest day of our lives. my precious boy. now you will be handsome. you won't be different any more.
>> dr. bill magee: your heart has to feel it first and then you can say to yourself, what if i just gave up lunch tomorrow and gave those dollars to some kid who didn't have a chance at life? then you become as important a part of this team as i am or any other surgeon. because of you, we've been able to change the life of some child, somewhere, who may never know your name, but will never forget your kindness. [ child speaking in foreign language ] [ music ] >> roma downey: the change in thanh's life since the surgery is amazing. his smile just beams and it's easy to see why. he's going to school now and has lots of friends. thanh's life has been transformed, thanks to operation smile and friends like you.
>> announcer: they're ridiculed, rejected, sometimes even hidden away. every year, over 200,000 children around the world are born with cleft lip or cleft palate, into families who cannot afford the surgery to repair it. you can provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now, by becoming an operation smile partner. it costs only $240, just $240 to transform a child's life. over 5,000 of the world's top doctors and nurses are standing by to volunteer their time. most of the medical supplies are donated. we're ready to go to more countries and reach more children, but we can't do it without your help. that's why it's so important that you call right now. your gift of $240 will provide surgery for a waiting child. or, if you prefer, you can pledge $20 a month.
your gifts will help send our teams and equipment all year round and help ensure that we can provide surgery, free of charge, to every child in need, so no child has to be turned away. call now and become an operation smile partner. you'll receive inspiring before and after photos of children whose lives have been transformed. plus, we'll send you this album to keep your photos in and share with your friends and family. and you'll also receive information about how your dollars are being used and the difference you're making around the world. you can even give automatically on your credit card. it's convenient and it saves money so more goes directly to the kids. when you make your payment with your credit card, we'll send you this official operation smile scrub shirt as a special thank you for being a vital part of our team. >> sandra fields: i saw the difference that it made.
and it just made me want to give. >> jeff jarvis: operation smile is a true ambassador to what america means. >> deborah morrison: it's good when you're able to do something that you know is not wasteful at all, that for every penny you've invested, there is that equal return and more. >> vanessa krikland: can you imagine what that child's life is going to be like now? it's just an awesome thought. and you just raise your hand and you say, thank you, god. >> announcer: call now and join the operation smile team. just $240 can provide a surgery that will change a child's life forever. or a gift of any amount will help a waiting child get the surgery they so desperately need. >> lou lipofsky: do it because it will make your life richer. do it because you will be setting an example, as a role model for your children and your family. do it because it's the right thing to do. >> dr. bill magee: we need to do more, we need to be
in more places, we need to help more kids. >> announcer: thousands of children are waiting. please go to your phone now. help us change lives, one smile at a time. >> roma downey: i'm at a hospital in tegucigalpa, honduras. over 200 children are gathered here with very anxious parents, all hoping for a miracle. every one of these kids was born with a cruel deformity. all it takes is a 45-minute surgery to repair, but their parents are too poor to afford it. so, these kids are left to grow up ridiculed and rejected. for many of them, their dream is about to come true. they'll receive a free surgery provided by a wonderful organization called operation smile. [ music ]
hundreds of children and their parents have arrived at tegucigalpa's san felipe hospital hoping for surgery. over the next two days, this dedicated team of international volunteers will examine every girl and boy, but tragically, at least half of them will have to be turned away because there isn't enough time to operate on all of them. [ music ] jose's only 3, too young to understand the stares and taunts directed at him by others. but his mother, reina, knows how he'll suffer if he doesn't get surgery. she, herself, lived with a cleft lip until the age of 12. >> reina: all the children made fun of me. i couldn't bear to leave the house. they called me spit lip, broken lip and all kinds of things.
>> roma downey: reina finally received her surgery, but when her son was born with a cleft, she felt the nightmare was beginning all over again. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> reina: i was worried. everyone said he would not grow and that it would be a miracle if he lived. he suffered because he couldn't eat and even had trouble with the bottle. >> roma downey: to protect jose from ridicule, reina rarely took hi now, she prays, he'll be one of the children chosen this week for surgery. >> reina: i know if he gets the operation, it would be a dream come true, like it was for me. >> charlotte monroe: life in honduras, for a child with a cleft lip or a cleft palate is a life that starts with tragedy.
they can't eat normally. they can't speak normally. they are made fun of because of their speech patterns. they're malnourished because they can't eat. >> dr. ben hu: it's a tough life. there's a lot of shame involved and they don't go to school, they don't go outside, they're embarrassed to play. there was one girl that wouldn't even look up. >> dr. miriam parker: cleft lip and palate affects their speech, and therefore, people that don't, that live outside the family, would have difficulty understanding what the child is saying. oftentimes, eating becomes difficult as well, because the palate's open, and then food comes out of the nose. >> mel: they're hopeless, and they see us as their last resort. and oftentimes, that's what we are, their last resort. if we're not here, there's no one else that'll do it for them. >> dr. jill gora: every child deserves a fair chance at life, whether they're our own, or someone halfway across the world that we'll never see again, and these children that we meet on operation smile missions aren't even given that fair shot
at life when they're born with a cleft, and it's up to us to help them. >> roma downey: zenaida is a playful 4-year-old with a severely cleft lip and cleft palate. her father, juan, loves her dearly and he's determined to protect her. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> juan: with her lip like this, i won't let her go to school. she won't be able to talk well. they won't look at her kindly. i'll have to fight for her. >> roma downey: before zenaida, juan had never seen a child with a cleft lip, and neither had anyone else in his village. he traveled 11 hours to get to the hospital. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> juan: if she doesn't get her lip fixed, she won't get married either. if they heal her, i'll thank god. >> roma downey: during the two days of screening,
even more people kept coming. now more than 300 children have been evaluated for surgery. it's now saturday, and today, parents will find out if their trip was in vain. [ calling names in foreign language ] the team can only operate on half of the children this week. about 150 are turned away and will have to wait
until another operation smile team comes back. >> kathy magee: most of us are mothers or fathers. no one, i don't, you know, if it's my child, do you think i want to hear come back next year? i don't care where you live or who you are, no one is willing to accept that for their own child. one year without speaking, without eating? thousands of kids are born every year, thousands, all over the country, all over this world, we can change that, we can fix this problem. >> dr. jill gora: we all, in our hearts, want to be able to provide free surgery for every single person but there simply isn't enough money for us to do that and, with the help of our donors, i'm hoping that one day, we never will have to turn anyone away. >> announcer: you can provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now, by becoming an operation smile partner.
it costs only $240. or, if you prefer, you can pledge $20 a month. your gifts will help send our teams and equipment all year round and help ensure that we can provide surgery, free of charge, to every child in need, so no child has to be turned away. thousands of children are waiting. please, go to your phone now, help us change lives, one smile at a time. >> roma downey: as zenaida plays, juan is visibly nervous in the moments before surgery. [ music ] [ speaking in foreign language ] [ child crying ]
though he's a strong man, juan could not hold back his tears. it's hard to hand your precious baby off to a stranger. many of these parents have never even been to a hospital before. because she and her father traveled so far, doctors decided to repair zenaida's lip and palate all in one surgery, and also to do some minor reconstruction on her nose. juan must wait almost two hours while his daughter is being operated on. [ music ]
>> juan: this is what i wanted. i was hoping for this help that we were all waiting for. we are poor and we are receiving this help from you. i pray to god that you'll continue helping. [ rooster crowing ] [ music ] >> roma downey: here's zenaida today. she's just lovely and her father's so proud. [ music ] can you believe it's the same girl whose face had a gaping hole not long ago? [ music ] it's the final day of surgery. jose and reina have been waiting all week for their turn. [ music ]
[ music ] i know that now, i will be able to take my boy out and that he won't have to be ridiculed. for me, it's such a great joy, such a beautiful feeling to see him like this. he is so handsome. [ music ] i am here with you, my love. it's okay. it's okay, baby. >> roma downey: life's so different now for reina and jose. without his cleft lip, jose's a normal boy, free to leave his house, make friends, go to school, all because of a simple surgery, all because some people, people like you, cared enough to help.
[ music ] two-year-old onis and his mother, maria, are desperately poor. this mission may be her boy's only chance to get the surgery he needs for his cleft lip and cleft palate. maria told us that when onis was born, the doctor didn't want to show him to her. she was thrilled when he was chosen for surgery, but now the time has come to hand onis over to the volunteer medical team, who will, for the next one and a half hours, work to give onis a new smile and a second chance at life. [ music ] it's such a thrill to share a mother's happiness after each life changing surgery.
[ music ] i am a mother, too, so i understand, yeah, and i have tears of joy for you, as a mother to a mother. this is the moment. this is the picture. this is what we're trying to achieve here. to give a beautiful, restored, baby boy back to his mom. so now, he can have a normal life like your children have, like my children have, and now like little onis will have, thanks to you. [ music ] look at this precious face!
onis now has a big, beautiful smile. what a change. what a miracle it is to see this child's life transformed. there's no limit to his potential now. >> kathy magee: i don't think anyone, in our country, wants to see a kid go without a life and to know that in 45 minutes to an hour, they can make a change in that life, they can speak, they can eat, they can go to school like their own children. i think, wow, that's the greatest thing that can ever happen to you. >> dr. bill magee: your heart has to feel it first and then you can say to yourself, what if i just gave up lunch tomorrow and gave those dollars to some kid who didn't have a chance at life? then you become as important a part of this team as i am or any other surgeon. because of you, we've been able to change the life
of some child somewhere, who may never know your name but will never forget your kindness. >> announcer: they're ridiculed, rejected, sometimes even hidden away. every year, over 200,000 children around the world are born with cleft lip or cleft palate into families who cannot afford the surgery to repair it. you can provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now, by becoming an operation smile partner. it costs only $240, just $240 to transform a child's life. over 5,000 of the world's top doctors and nurses are standing by to volunteer their time. most of the medical supplies are donated. we're ready to go to more countries, and reach more children, but we can't do it without your help. that's why it's so important that you call right now.