Saliou was too young to realize that he was different. At 2 years old, the little boy had a cleft lip and was set apart from the other children. Blissfully unaware, the condition had no damper on Saliou’s personality, which brought joy to everyone he met. While some might view Saliou’s condition as a reason to feel shame, especially in West Africa, where the lack of medical access can cause a person to live with the defect for a lifetime, Saliou’s grandmother, Ndiane refused to let his condition hinder her love. “He’s so handsome,” she said while holding his photo. Despite her admiration for Saliou, Ndiane still hoped that he wouldn’t have to grow up with a cleft lip which, she worried would cause him to become an outcast when he was older. “If he didn’t get surgery, he would be different from the other children,” she said.
Ndaine’s heart swelled with joy and gratitude after Saliou’s operation — her grandson was finally healed!
Her full story can be read here.