Does this baby have a chance?

Parents of child born with severe cleft lip look abroad for treatment to give their baby the possibility of a normal childhood.

Contact Editor
Kupat Ha'Ir,

Hospital (illustration)
Hospital (illustration)
Flash 90

Two months ago, Raphael S. was born in Jerusalem. What should have been a joyful moment for his parents became one of shock and fear, as doctors and nurses quickly whisked the baby away. It was determined before long that Raphael had a severe cleft lip, with the tear leading all the way up to his nose.

His parents were given two options: Raise a child who could not eat without pain, whose hunger would keep him up at nights, and who would live his life different from the other children around him, or pay $25,000 to fly him to America where he could receive the surgery needed to reconstruct his face.

The couple, living modestly as most in Israel do, thought they were doomed to the first option.

However, the Kupat Ha'Ir charity organization recently adopted their cause, and has made them the subject of their latest Chesed Fund fundraising campaign. The campaign's name makes its goal clear: "Give Baby Raphael A Normal Life"

The fundraising page includes moving footage of Raphael's mother, cradling her disfigured newborn child in her arms. "I am writing to you as a heartbroken mother, afraid for the future, and with no options left," the campaign text begins.

The validity of the case as well as their level of poverty has been confirmed by Kupat Ha'Ir's board and The Chesed Fund's verification committee.