When Cypres Salon delivered her child, she immediately knew something was wrong when she dint hear her baby girl cry. It was then that doctors realized that her baby girl, Angel, was born with a rare brain hernia called encephalocele, a kind of hernia that caused a huge lump to form extensively on her face. It was not until five days after the delivery that Cypres was allowed to see her newborn daughter. The mother was terrified and largely blamed herself for the condition that her daughter was in. The growth later became so huge that she had to move or lift the lump so that she could be able to see.
At the time, Cypres and her husband did not have enough money to get their little girl the medical procedure she required to remove the hernia but they managed to raise $5500 for her surgery in the Philippines. It helped to reduce a few dangerous side effects that the hernia would have caused but it still covered her left eye. Angel had problems when it came to laughing and playing because the hernia restricted her. She became an easy target for bullies and most of the children around her would call her ‘monster’ while others made fun of her.Her parents couldn’t take it anymore seeing their child get bullied and made fun of, so they decided to keep her indoors where she played with her siblings and cousins only. This way she was safe from being bullied. Their move helped her a little until one day, a young boy approached Angel and began making fun of Angel’s hernia but to their surprise Angel handled the situation quite well. Instead of reacting negatively, she patted the little boy on his shoulder and said ‘hi’. Her parents couldn’t be more proud.
Fortunately Cypres and her husband Dale were referred to the Children First Foundation by Interplast a non-profit organisation that works to provide free surgical treatment to people in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region. Since they could not raise $8000 for Angel’s hernia to be operated on, this was a perfect chance for them to get their little girl the help she needed.
The Children First Foundation flew Angel and Dale to Australia in September 2016 so that she could get her surgery. It was a four hour procedure and the lump on her face was removed and some skin from her hip was used to seal the hole in her face. The operation was a complete success and for the first time, Angel saw clearly without having to lift any lump on her face. It’s been about four years now since the operation, and Angel is pressing on just fine with her usual confidence and happy face.