Ricochet News

Smile Week brings joy to a Port Elizabeth family

By Afikile Lugunya - Aug 14, 2018
Smile Week brings joy to a Port Elizabeth family

The Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital Smile Week, sponsored by the Port Elizabeth International Airport, left a family of three smiling after undergoing a Treacher Collins syndrome operation.

Lungelwa Falntein (45) a mother, who suffers from Treacher Collins syndrome, cried tears of joy after expressing how happy she feels now that her  two daughters Anelisa Falntein (5) and Zintle Falntein (15) will live a normal lives like other children.

Treacher Collins syndrome is a rare genetic condition, which sees children being born with craniofacial abnormalities, characterised by a flattened mid-face.

Lungelwa took Anelisa to the hospital to do the operation after witnessing her struggle to play with other children.

"She'd come to me crying saying that other children laugh at her because her ears are too small and her face is flat," she described.

To correct this, surgeons perform a procedure called fat grafting, where fat is removed from Anelisa’s flanks and abdomen, processed and then injected into her face in the necessary areas.

Anelisa will spend up to three days in hospital, with the full effect of her new face being visible around two weeks after her operation.

Her eldest daughter, Zintle has also done the operation.

However, Lungelwa said that she is already older and has chosen not to do the operation, but still smiles, as she hopes her children will now be able to live better lives without having people laughing at them.