#SmileMoments | Katlego ‘Brilliant’ Kobo

by | Jul 24, 2017 | News, Stories

Katlego Before and After Cleft Surgery

Photo-credit: Operation Smile South Africa

20-month old Katlego ‘Brilliant’ Kobo is a bundle of energy that fills every room he enters with a sense of wonderment and fun. For his mother, Sarah chasing him around is a small price to pay after watching her infant son initially struggle when he was born.

“Katlego was born with a cleft lip and I was very confused when this happened. I already had three children and did not really know what to do,” explains Sarah.

While Sarah and her husband were concerned and somewhat unsure of what to do, a mid-afternoon spot of TV-watching helped answer their prayers. “I was watching television and saw a program about cleft lips and palates and they mentioned Operation Smile South Africa and gave the toll free number,” says Sarah.

A call soon followed and after talking with Patient Innocent Mbabani, and supplying some initial details, the Kobo’s were able to register Katlego. Sarah and Katlego travelled to Operation Smile South Africa’s medical mission held in Mbombela in September 2016.

“When we reached the mission, I was very happy to see so many other mothers and children. I was happy I wasn’t alone,” explains Sarah.

Sarah admits to being apprehensive and a little afraid when Katlego went into surgery but when he was returned to her after surgery she felt an overwhelming sense of joy.

‘’The change that Katlego has undergone since the operation, has not just been purely physical, but also affected his personality. He was suffering before, but now he is so happy and alive,” smiles Sarah.

Sarah now sees her role in the community as an unofficial ambassador for OSSA. “I have been trying to speak with a lady in our neighbourhood who has a child with a cleft lip. She is reluctant at the moment and is hiding her child. People shouldn’t hide their children, there is hope.”

The Leapfrog Smiles: To the Power of 10 Campaign

As part of our 10-year anniversary celebrations, Leapfrog Property Group decided to partner with Miles for Smiles (a Cipla Foundation South Africa initiative) Operation Smile South Africa and David Grier (extreme adventurer and Miles for Smiles ambassador) in an effort to raise enough funds to sponsor 100 children, like Katlego to receive life-changing cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries.

To date, our various branches across South Africa has raised R210 677 for this worthy initiative!

Join in on the conversation on social media with: #MilesForSmiles #LeapfrogSmiles to the #PowerOf10.

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