This family has been looking for help since Jehad’s birth and travelled 6 hours by bus to our medical project in Davao City in March 2012. While the team at our Care Centre in Davao desperately wanted to help him and has capacity to treat some cases of encephaloceles, Jehad’s case is more complex than can be treated locally. Therefore his case has been referred to the World Care Program to be treated by Dr Richard Lewandowski and his team of experienced surgeons in Brisbane, Australia. Dr Lewandowski is a dedicated Operation Smile volunteer, and founder of Operation Smile Australia. His team will all be volunteering their time and the hospital-related costs will be provided at a greatly reduced rate to accommodate Jehad’s surgery. Operation Smile Australia will also coordinate a caring local host family to assist with guardian accommodation for the duration of Jehad’s treatment and recovery.
Most often, World Care Patients are accompanied by one guardian. However, Jehad’s circumstances are slightly exceptional as his mother is not literate, and speaks only a local Maguindanao language. She has understandable fears and apprehensions of accompanying her son on such a long international journey alone and of understanding everything involved with Jehad’s surgery and recovery. The team in Davao has recommended that there be a second guardian accommodated for his case, as they did not recommend Jehad travel without his mother.