Two-year-old Antony and his mother Jacelyn endured an arduous journey to have the child’s cleft palate (inside the mouth) repaired. It began five months earlier, when Jacelyn and her husband attempted to sell their truck to pay for surgery for their son and were attacked by a gang demanding money. Having almost no money to satisfy the thieves, the gang opened fire. Both parents and Antony were hit. Antony’s father died. A bullet had entered one side of his jaw, exited the other side and lodged in his son?s shoulder. All were left for dead.
Antony and his mother were picked up and taken to a hospital where they received medical attention. The man who shot the family was captured and hearings were held in Guatemala City. Remaining gang members threatened the lives of Antony, Jacelyn and her mother-in-law because the elderly woman attended the hearings pleading for justice for her dead son. The accused man faces 50 years in prison for murdering Antony?s father and 25 years for the attempted murder of Antony.
Learning of the Rotaplast surgical mission, Jacelyn and Antony made their way to Retalhuleu. Antony was seen on pre-clinic day, was accepted and scheduled for surgery the next day. In the OR, Antony did not respond well to the anesthesia and surgery was halted. The child needed to be on antibiotics for at least five days before surgery could be attempted again. But, Jacelyn and Antony lived too far away to leave and return. The compassionate mission staff pooled enough money for the mother and child to secure a hotel and meals until Antony could be re-evaluated for surgery the following Monday. Jacelyn cried in gratitude at their kindness.
On Monday, Antony was cleared for surgery and underwent a successful cleft palate revision. Jacelyn was allowed to be with Antony as he recovered from anesthesia. The grandmother, arriving alone and finding no one, shrieked in alarm. Staff rushed to assure her that her grandson was safe, repaired and with his mother. The grandmother wept with joy. The long ordeal was over.