Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/4/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ten operations gives 12-year-old girl better chance of living normal life

A flesh-eating bacteria ate away at a young girl's face after she drank from a stream near her remote village in Kenya. Twelve-year-old Saline Atieno's eaten-away face made it difficult for her to speak, eat and even breathe. After living in the U.S. for a year, and undergoing10 plastic surgery operations, Saline is now able to smile with confidence - and now plans to return home to Africa.

Saline will now be enrolled in a private boarding school in Kenya, where she will receive an education, a bed to sleep in and three meals per day - all funded by the Smile Rescue Fund.

Saline will now be enrolled in a private boarding school in Kenya, where she will receive an education, a bed to sleep in and three meals per day - all funded by the Smile Rescue Fund.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/4/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Noma, plastic surgery, Kenya, girl, smile


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - New York doctor Dr. Leon Klempner carried out a series of operations to help rebuild her face over the past year. Saline is the first child to have had her life dramatically changed by the Smile Rescue Fund For Kids, which is a charity dedicated to helping children with facial deformities deemed virtually "untreatable."

Klempner, an orthodontist on the cleft palate team at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, New York took pity on Saline's plight.

Learn how you can help the hungry -- by going here --

After making several mission trips to provide free surgeries to repair cleft palates or other facial deformities in children around the world, Klempner wanted to do more to help those children with the most severe deformities.

When she younger, Saline Atieno

When she younger, Saline Atieno's face was ravaged by a rare flesh-eating bacteria that made it difficult for her to speak, eat and even breathe.


"On every mission I've gone on there's always been one or two kids turned away because they are too severe to be able to treat and that's always bothered me," Klempner says.
Saline was only three years old when she was diagnosed with Noma. The flesh-eating bacteria develops in the mouth and ravages the faces of its victims by destroying the soft and bone tissues of the face.

"Noma attacked her face, ate through her skin, through her upper jaw, destroyed her nose and destroyed her palate.That's the medical part," Klempner said.

"The social part is she was basically a recluse, she had no friends, and she didn't go to school."

Dr. Leon Klempner, an orthodontist on the cleft palate team at Stony Brook University Hospital found

Dr. Leon Klempner, an orthodontist on the cleft palate team at Stony Brook University Hospital founded the Smile Rescue Fund for Kids to help children with facial deformities deemed "untreatable."


Klempner became aware of Saline's plight in 2010, but it took three years of fundraising and navigating bureaucratic barriers before Saline finally arrived in the U.S. for treatment last June.

She was very shy and withdrawn due to her facial condition. "We had to reconstruct a nose, an upper lip and a palate - and that was one big cavity, one big hole," Dr. Alexander Dagum, chief of the plastic and reconstructive surgery division at Stony Brook says.

As Saline's appearance began to improve, her doctors and host family noticed in both her health and self-esteem. She grew six inches taller and learned to speak English.

"Here everyone is welcoming her, telling her she is beautiful, I think that all really played a part of getting her to come out of her shell," Jennifer Crean, who hosted Saline in her home for three months, says.


Saline had her tenth major surgery - to create a nose - in April and then on May 31 she flew back to Kenya. She is now able to breathe normally, speak more clearly and eat without spilling food and drink from her mouth.

"No words can adequately express how I feel. You have not only taught me your language, and fixed my face, you have taught me how it feels to be taken care of and unconditionally loved. I never expected that. Goodbye- for now,' she told Dr. Klempner before leaving.

Saline will now be enrolled in a private boarding school in Kenya, where she will receive an education, a bed to sleep in and three meals per day - all funded by the Smile Rescue Fund.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Living Faith

No one should be hungry during the Christmas season

Image of

By Tony Magliano

In early December, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) stopped feeding 1.7 million Syrian refugees. For two weeks these poor, battered fellow human beings who had fled the misery of civil war, and the barbarism of the "Islamic State," were told there is no ... continue reading


HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPE FRANCIS! Beloved Pontiff turns 78 today Watch

Image of Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPE FRANCIS! Today is Pope Francis' 78th birthday and well-wishers celebrated the day singing and dancing for the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Born on December 17, 1936, the man who would become Pope Francis has ... continue reading


Turned into the wild, Pope Francis offers hope to displaced faithful in Middle East Watch

Image of Patriarch Younan said a major focus of their synod was on priestly formation since their communities have faced so much upheaval.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Times are hard and arduous for those who practice their Catholic faith in the Middle East. In a special audience with Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan, along with about 350 of his faithful from the Syriac Catholic Church, Pope Francis offered words ... continue reading


Mary hailed as 'great missionary' who brought Gospel to Americas by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Francis and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis along with thousands of Catholics from across the Atlantic celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Vatican. The Pope celebrated Mass to the sounds and rhythms of many of South America's indigenous peoples. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Your Friday Feel Good Story: Watch what happens when the mic goes out during the American National Anthem at a hockey game in Canada! Watch

Image of Ina  heartwarming gesture of respect, Canadians sing the Star Spangled Banner when the microphone game out before a game featuring a team from the USA.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Here's your Friday Feel Good story! Enjoy your Friday and don't forget to share! During a hockey game in Canada between American and Canadian players, the microphone failed, silencing the singer. Without audio, the Americans would be without their national anthem, but ... continue reading


Irenaeus of Lyon on Eve and Mary

Image of An Icon of Ireneaus of Lyon

By Ireneaus of Lyon

The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to ... continue reading


Taking the Kingdom by Force: Learning from John the Baptizer Watch

Image of The choice is ours. Just as it was with John the Baptizer. He shows us the way to give away our freedom in love - and then find it anew in the One who truly sets us free. (John 8:36). The kingdom of heaven is still being taken by force. The force of love. The Lord is seeking men and women in this hour who will take the kingdom by force like John the Baptizer.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

John the Baptizer was a man of Joy because he was a man of true humility! Humility is a powerful weapon when wielded by a soldier of love like John. He was a man who understood that life wasn't all about him. He emptied himself willingly and was thus able to ... continue reading


Faith restored in humanity! A random act of kindness changes a woman's life forever during the Christmas season Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While protests are wreaking havoc all around the world, wars are being fought, and people are being brutally killed, the warm sensation and fuzzy feeling of Christmas gets overshadowed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although good deeds and random acts of kindness ... continue reading


Do We Really Believe in the Resurrection of the Body and the Life of the World to Come? Watch

Image of Seated at the right hand of the Father, he works unceasingly in the world, to draw men into the Church and through it to join them more closely to himself.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. His salvation is offered extended to all men and women. That salvation is not only about our souls, but about the whole human person. It will only be complete when we are raised from the dead and dwell in the kingdom to come. He ... continue reading


A Christmas gift for suffering South Sudan

Image of The people of South Sudan have the same feeling and love for one another we do. Now is the time for us to extend our arms in compassion.

By Tony Magliano

The world's newest nation is in big trouble. After more than 20 years of civil war between the southern and northern areas of Sudan, the southern part of that country on July 9, 2011, became the independent nation of the Republic of South Sudan.But the situation on the ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 49:2, 8-10
2 Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
3 Mountains and hills, bring peace to the people! ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 1:1-17
1 Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 17th, 2014 Image

St. Olympias
December 17: Olympias born into a wealthy noble Constantinople family. She ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter