Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

A Father’s Love

Ariceli before surgery
Photo by Anneke Paterson

Ariceli is an 11 month old born with a bilateral cleft lip resulting in a noticeable defect on an otherwise pretty face.  She travelled to Veracruz with her father, a single parent, who constantly carried her and fretted whenever she was removed from his arms. Ariceli had her surgery on Wednesday and while she was in the OR her Dad was so anxious he cried.  When she was returned to him after surgery, he cried again with relief. Speech therapist Jissel went to visit the pair in the post-op area later in the day and noticed that Dad was holding Ariceli close and weeping.  Jissel reassured him that although Ariceli might be having a little pain now, she would quickly feel fine and heal rapidly.  He told her “No, I’m just so happy because now she looks like her twin sister”.


Photo by Anneke Paterson

All smiles on Thursday as Ariceli and dad prepare to leave for home.

1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip or palate

$250 covers the cost of one life-changing surgery

150 volunteers annually will change a child’s life forever

Austin Smiles - local services Camp Amigo photo

Medical Mission Trips

Austin Smiles goes on 2-3 medical mission trips annually

Austin Smiles - local services spring picnic photo

Our Local Services

Our local program support for children born with Cleft Lip and Palate in Texas

Austin Smiles - local services sponsor locally photo

Sponsor a Child

Make a difference for a child in need