Together with the midshipmen, the writer is made to leopard crawl through a   maze that is laced with a sticky concoction of food and sauces.

A complete smile

 Five-year-old Syahrini was born with a cleft lip, a cogenital condition that appeared as a break in her upper lip. This is how plastic surgeon LTC (Dr) (NS) Chong Si Jack reconstructed her smile.

 

Story by Clara Lock

Photos by Clara Lock, Jonathan Ryan and Yong Shu Fui

 

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon MAJ (Dr) (NS) Matthew Yeo screens Syahrini to make ure she is fit for surgery. " We will do the operation today, okay?" he ask her father. He nods his consent.

 

Together with the midshipmen, the writer is made to leopard crawl through a   maze that is laced with a sticky concoction of food and sauces.

Syahrini is quiet during the wait for surgery, but she cries as her father, Mr Syahrun, carries her to the operating table.

 

Together with the midshipmen, the writer is made to leopard crawl through a   maze that is laced with a sticky concoction of food and sauces.

LTC (Dr) (NS) Chong marks out Syahrini's lips before surgery. He will repair her oral muscles and correct her left nostril. Her nostril is much wider and flatter than normal, so LTC (Dr) (NS) Chong will narrow the base of the nose and sharpen the tip.

Together with the midshipmen, the writer is made to leopard crawl through a   maze that is laced with a sticky concoction of food and sauces.

When the surgery is over, LTC (Dr) (NS) Chong is pleased with the outcome. "she won't look perfect, but from far you can't tell," he said.

Together with the midshipmen, the writer is made to leopard crawl through a   maze that is laced with a sticky concoction of food and sauces.

That evening, fast craft utility ferried Syahrini and the other patients back to shore. The stiches will off in a week, and Syahrini can return to school with a complete smile.