Meet Jessa Deguinan

July 1, 2008

Jessa, after surgery       Jessa's new smile


Jessa Deguinan’s family recently moved from their home in Negros City to Cebu City, an 18-hour boat ride. The move held promise of better jobs-and a new start for their older daughter Jessa. Like many children in the Philippines, Jessa was born with a cleft palate and was often a subject of ridicule in Negros City. Every kid called her bungi, meaning “slice lip,” and the hurt became so great that Jessa’s father pulled her out of school and eventually decided to move away completely.  

For years, the family had attempted to find a group that could shoulder the cost of an operation to fix Jessa’s lip. They hadn’t met with a lot of luck, until one of their relatives in Cebu heard a radio announcement for a medical screening in their area. Jessa and her family soon received a phone call and were immediately sent to a nearby clinic, where Jessa and her father visited with Trivani and Deseret International employees in hopes of a surgery. They didn’t wait long. The day after their visit, Jessa received her life-changing surgery that fixed her humiliating bungi.

The surgery was a miracle for not only Jessa but her entire family. Jessa’s father and mother have found renewed motivation to live a better life, and they now work as freelance masseurs. Though they earn a meager $3 to $5 a day, they say it’s enough to keep afloat while sustaining their family of six. Jessa is now in first grade and, to the delight of her family, is free of ridicule. Her father told me that she has never seen his daughter so happy and excited to go to school. He also mentioned he and his wife have been praying and waiting for this opportunity to see Jessa move normally away from the world’s ridicule.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to our group. They said they cannot give anything back but the prayer that our group will grow stronger and bigger so that more Jessas will be helped and given the chance to be normal and not ridiculed.

Erwin J. Boiser
Trivani Country Manager


One Response to “Meet Jessa Deguinan”

  1. […] to fix Jessa’s lip, and Trivani was fortunate enough to help this family with their struggle. Click here to read more and view pictures of Jessa’s progress. Potentially Hazardous Chemicals in […]

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