It’s been a few months since we’ve visited with Facing the World and we thought it was about time to catch up with them. Beatrice, who’s the Head of Strategy for Stephen Moyer’s favourite charity, told us about an upcoming program on channel 5 in the UK that tells the story of Viet, a toddler with one of the rarest forms of facial clefts. It’s this boy, and others like him that your monies went to this past year when you donated to Facing the Atlantic.
The upcoming documentary highlights the extraordinary work of Britain’s children’s charity, Facing the World. If you’re in the UK you can watch Viet’s story this Thursday; if not, we’ll help you out when the time comes. No worries!
The Channel 5 documentary The Baby with a New Face (Thursday 28th June 2012, 9pm) follows the story of 18-month-old Viet, who was born with one of the world’s rarest forms of bilateral facial cleft – two 16 millimeter gaps in the bone on each side of his face. These gaps will increase as he grows and make it impossible for him to lead a normal life. His condition makes him blind in both eyes.
Facing the World, a London-based children’s charity, learned of Viet’s case through their surgical training programme in Danang in Vietnam. The complexity of his condition meant that treatment in Vietnam was not a possibility. Viet’s only option for life changing surgery was to travel to London for treatment by Facing the World, the only charity able to treat these most complex and life threatening craniofacial conditions.
You can follow the amazing journey of Viet and his mum from their fishing village in Vietnam to London for transformational surgery at the hands of the top craniofacial surgeons in the world. In the film, surgeon Niall Kirkpatrick and his team perform a highly complex 9 hour operation on Viet’s face, rotating skin that has been contorted by the clefts. His aftercare is complex and requires multiple volunteer medics from across London to maintain Viet’s health and wellbeing.
After three months in London, Viet and his mum travel to be reunited with their family who once feared that Viet would not live. A happy more confident toddler who is speaking and eating like other children returns to Vietnam. With the support of Facing the World, Viet now has a future full of opportunities. He will go on to attend a dedicated school for blind children and his condition will continue to be monitored by Danang General Hospital in partnership with Facing the World.