tv Nightly Business Report PBS October 30, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
now to have surgery on her palate. >> [ speaking vietnamese ] >> 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. >> [ speaking vietnamese ] >> 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. >> [ speaking vietnamese ]
>> 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 vietnamese ] >> 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. >> [ speaking vietnamese ] >> 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 help provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now by becoming an operation smile partner for just $240. if you prefer, you can give $20 a month or a gift of any amount. your gifts will help send medical teams and supplies. you'll help provide free surgeries that take as little as 45 minutes. you'll help us reach more children so that one day, no child will ever have to be turned away. please call or go online now and have your credit card ready.
help save and transform lives forever. children are waiting. [ laughter ] >> sut's one of the first children to have surgery this morning, and he's ready to go. >> here we go. >> you like that? >> it's okay. >> sut just took a look at the operating room. i guess he's having second thoughts, but he's in very good hands. >> 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. >> hold their head back. >> sut's mom is waiting right outside the door. this must be very frightening for her. >> we come to these countries halfway around the world, and we do not sacrifice quality. we bring everything from the equipment 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's ostracized to someone who's a normal, fun-loving, great kid who you'd be proud of to be your own child. [ indistinct conversations ]
>> 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. >> 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." >> 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. wh 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 that from now on, the sky is the limit. he's a great kid. >> [ speaking vietnamese ] >> are you gonna be a doctor now? huh? [ indistinct conversations ]
>> 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 gonna be so beautiful when you get him back. >> so let me mark that right there, and i want to make a little triangle here. so it's very important to get it past here. one of the most important things that we have the opportunity to do on a trip is share knowledge. when we first came to vietnam in 1988, they proudly told me that 1,000 children had been treated with clefts since 1951. but now with the armies of people that we 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. couldn't have done it without you. [ child crying ] >> oh, my goodness, it's, um... 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 right there and drag her in, but they have to wait for the baby to recover a wee bit from the operation.
isn't he beautiful? just sit down, and i'll give him to you. there. okay. okay. [chuckles] [ chuckles ] okay. >> [ speaking vietnamese ] >> interpreter: 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'll be
handsome. you won't be different anymore. >> 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 bece 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. [ indistinct conversations ] >> [ speaking vietnamese ] >> [ laughs ] >> the change in thanh's life since his 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: every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. 1 in 10 will die before their first birthday. those who survive struggle to eat and speak. they're bullied, hidden away, destined to lives of pain because they're born into families who can't afford the surgery they desperately need -- a surgery that costs as little as $240 and can save a child's life. you can help provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now by becoming an operation smile partner for just $240. only $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 have been donated. we're ready to save waiting children from lives of pain, but we can't do it without your help. that's why it's so important
that you call or go online right now with your gift of $240 to help provide a surgery for a waiting child. if you prefer, you can give $20 a month or a gift of any amount. your gifts will help send medical teams and supplies and train doctors in over 60 countries. you'll help provide free surgeries that take as little as 45 minutes. you'll help us reach more children so that one day, no child will ever have to be turned away. call now to become an operation smile partner. you'll receive inspiring phots and stories of children whose lives have been transformed thanks to your generosity and compassion. you'll also receive information about how you and operation smile are making a difference around the world. you can even give automatically on your credit card. it's convenient and will allow your gift to go to work immediately to save children's lives even faster. use your credit card, and we'll also send you this operation smile t-shirt for free
so you can help spread the word. >> i saw the difference that it made, and it just made me want to give. >> the dollar is being used effectively because the doctors are donating their time. >> can you imagine what that child's life is gonna be like now? it's just an awesome thought. >> announcer: call now. time is running out for thousands of children. just $240 can help provide the surgery that will change a child's life forever. if you prefer, you can give $20 a month, or a gift of any amount will help a waiting child get the surgery they so desperately need. >> 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. >> we need to do more. we need to be in more places. we need to help more kids.
>> announcer: don't wait. every day, children are suffering. 1 in 10 will die. please call or go online now and have your credit card ready. help save and transform lives forever. children are waiting. >> i'm at a hospital in tegulcigalpa, 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, and 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.
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. 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. >> interpreter: all the children made fun of me. i couldn't bear to leave the house.
they called me "split lip," "broken lip," and all kinds of things. >> reina finally received her surgery, but when her son was born with a cleft, she felt the nightmare was beginning all over again. >> [ speaking spanish ] >> interpreter: 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 a bottle. >> to protect jose from ridicule, reina rarely took him out of the house. now she prays he'll be one of the children chosen this week for surgery. >> interpreter: i know if he gets the operation, it would be a dream come true, like it was for me. >> life in honduras for a child with a cleft lip or a cleft palate is, um, 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. >> 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. >> cleft lip and palate affects their speech, and therefore, people 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. >> 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. >> 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. >> 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 spanish ] >> interpreter: 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. >> 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 spanish ] >> interpreter: if she doesn't get her lip fixed, she won't get married, either. if they heal her, i'll thank god. >> during the two days of
about 150 are turned away and will have to wait until another operation smile team comes back. >> most of us are mothers or fathers. no one -- 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. >> 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 help provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now by
becoming an operation smile partner for just $240. if you prefer, you can give $20 a month or a gift of any amount. your gifts will help send medical teams and supplies. you'll help provide free surgeries that take as little as 45 minutes. you'll help us reach more children so that one day, no child will ever have to be turned away. please call or go online now and have your credit card ready. help save and transform lives forever. children are waiting. >> as zenaida plays, juan is visibly nervous in the moments before surgery. >> yeah, you have a friend right there. [ conversing in spanish ]
>> [ cries, screams ] >> shh. >> 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.
>> zenaida. zenaida. >> interpreter: this is what i wanted. i was hoping for this help that we were waiting for. we are poor, and we are receiving this help from you. i pray to god that you'll continue helping. [ rooster crows ] >> here's zenaida today. she's just lovely, and her father's so proud. can you believe it's the same girl whose face had a gaping hole not long ago? it's the final day of surgery. jose and reina have been waiting all week for their turn.
>> interpreter: i am so happy. i know that now i will able to ta my boy out and that he won't have to be ridiculed. for me, it is such a great joy, such a beautiful feeling to see him like this. he's so handsome. i am here with you, my love. it's okay. it's okay, papi. >> 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. 2-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 1 1/2 hours, work to give onis a new smile and a second chance at life. it's such a thrill to share a mother's happiness after each life-changing surgery.
>> [ speaking spanish ] >> i am a mother, too, so i understand. >> ah. >> yeah. and i have tears of joy for you. >> mm. >> yeah, as a mother to a mother. >> [ speaking spanish ] >> 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.
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. >> 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 could ever happen to you. >> 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: every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. 1 in 10 will die before their first birthday. those who survive struggle to eat and speak. they're bullied, hidden away, destined to lives of pain because they're born into families who can't afford the surgery they desperately need -- a surgery that costs as little as $240 and can save a child's life. you can help provide a complete surgery for one waiting child right now by becoming an operation smile partner for just $240. only $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 have been donated. we're ready to save waiting children from lives of pain, but