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A Reason to Smile

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The wire had kept his jaw closed for six months.

About six months ago, back home in his village, Warumai found himself in a fight. A bamboo pole to the face left him with a broken jaw in three places and in desperate need of medical attention. Against all odds he managed to make his way to Port Moresby, be seen by a professional, and have his jaw wired shut-in place to heal. Warumai was told that if he returned home the dental therapist at nearby Daru hospital would take out the wires in six weeks time. The situation went from bad to worse. He arrived in Daru to find out that due to lack of tools and training, the staff in Daru were unable to remove them. (Daru is a 28 hour sail in a ship like the Medical Ship and no roads connect the two cities.) Being a village man and unable to support the trip back Port Moresby, there was nothing Warumai could do but wait and hope that someone with more experience would make their way to Daru to help.

Excited to be able to open his mouth!

You can imagine Warumai’s joy when the YWAM Medical Ship with a team of dental professionals showed up. Ideally, he would have seen a facial surgeon, but in lieu of that, after a phone consult with a dental specialist, it was decided that removing the wires would leave Warumai in a much better position. He was delighted! Having been on a soft food diet and unable to open his mouth for the last six months, this outcome, while far from perfect, was an incredibly welcomed relief and regained freedom. Warumai returned a few days later for a check up, and along with being happy with his progress our team was able to further assist him by performing a few restorations on his front teeth. That day as Warumai left our Ship he was able to open his mouth to share his thanks. As he flashed his new beautiful smile for all to see, it was clear that he was leaving a more joyful man than he had come.

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