Today, young Alex Kiarie is having his fifth surgery: lip and nose reconstruction! Please pray for him as he begins this long awaited day!
Alex was born in 1998 in Nairobi, Kenya. Born with a cleft lip and palate, Alex had difficulty eating and speaking normally. He couldn’t suck to drink milk or to pull food off a spoon. Although this condition is treated early and effectively in the United States, this is not the case in most parts of the world. Then, when he was only a year old, his mother was killed when the gas stove in their home exploded. From that day on, his grandmother Rachel raised him.
Specialized medical care is scarce and very expensive in Kenya. Nevertheless, Alex was able to have three surgeries growing up thanks to visiting medical mission teams. Knowing that Alex needed more surgery and that specialized care was available in the United States, his grandmother secured a medical visa for him. In 2007, Alex and his grandmother made their way to Dallas. Alex’s treatment would be long and the price tag daunting.
A pastor in Dallas researched options for Alex and was led to Dr. Hobar and to LEAP. Upon meeting Dr. Hobar and his staff, he and Rachel heard the words they had prayed for: “Everything will be taken care of.”
Alex has since had four surgeries in Dallas and is now able to speak and eat more effectively. LEAP is committed to a multi-year plan, and Alex is halfway there. He has had orthodontic care, an operation to help him speak better, and a bone graft to fill in missing bone in his gums and roof of his mouth. The plan is to complete his orthodontics, surgical advancement of his upper jaw, and to surgically reconstruct his lip and nose.
LEAP has supported the costs of Alex’s surgery. Dr. Hobar and Alex’s craniofacial orthodontist have donated all their services, and Dallas Day Surgery Center and Baylor have also made significant investments. Alex has also been working closely with a speech therapist from Children’s Medical Center, who has offered to donate her time to help Alex.
“Alex is the nicest, most appreciative young man. It is a real pleasure to help him,” said Dr. Hobar. “Alex is a good example of what LEAP is about – faith, personal relationship, and commitment to the long term.” Now a high school graduate, Alex says his goal is to be able to give back to others once his treatments are done. He earnestly wants to serve others in the name of Christ. His heart’s desire is to “work for organizations like Dr. Hobar’s or the United Nations where you don’t only earn a living by doing your job, but you help others get better in their lives, just as others have made mine better.”