A few weeks ago, our little humble hospital started getting a fresh coat of paint. We noticed the floors being scrubbed a little more thoroughly and sidewalks being repaired. There was a bustle around the hospital that made it feel as if Christmas was coming. Soon, there were banners and carpets and CURE shirts being washed and ironed. In the first week of June, Miss World came to visit our hospital, where she received a true, warm Kenyan welcome.
Mireia Lalaguna of Spain holds this year’s crown as Miss World. She has partnered with Smile Train, an organization that provides free surgeries for cleft lip and palate patients. Smile Train helps fund the clef lip and palate surgeries performed at CURE Kenya. She arrived in Kijabe with many other people, including this year’s Miss World Kenya, Miss World Asia, and Smile Train’s chief programs officer. In preparation for their coming, some previous patients came for their follow-ups, some new patients came to be seen, and certainly it was not a day that anyone missed work!
Lalaguna handed out roses, get well cards, and even planted a tree. As we watched the busy day unfold amongst media teams, cameras, and so many visitors, the best thing to see was how the patients lit up with joy. Staying at a hospital is not a fun experience for any child, nor for their parents. With a visitor like Miss World, CURE was able to feel less like a hospital, if only for a moment. We are honored to have hosted these prestigious and kind-hearted visitors.
A warm welcome to CURE Kijabe for Mireia Lalaguna and her team by our ED Abed, staff, and some of the patients.
Mr. Satish Kalra, Smile Train’s chief programs officer, has a moment with Hanna, a cleft lip patient, at the gate.
Time to get her hands dirty! Lalaguna plants a tree at CURE Kenya.
At the ward, the team is welcomed with high fives and singing by the kids.
The kids quickly warm up to Lalaguna, and in no time, two of them are by her side!
The kids pose for a photo with the beauty queens
Time to see the kids and deliver some get wells. Lalaguna visits Eric, who just had a cleft lip repair surgery.
Selfie time! Miss World Asia takes a selfie with one of the patients
Lalaguna writes a get well message for Vinail.
Coraline was so happy to get a get well card and a gift from Lalaguna.
Christine receives a get well card and a flower from Lalaguna.
Gibson loves the gift Miss Asia just gave him. What a joy!
Olosian’s father can’t hide his joy after getting a get well card from Lalaguna to read to his son.
Talia gets a get well message from Miss World
More get well messages to the kids. Some kids just stared and wondered what all this was all about.
Miss World Kenya takes her time to have a word with Trevor after giving him a get well card.
Get well soon Mariam!
At the end of it all, it was smiles for the kids in the ward as the played and showed off the gifts they just received from the Miss World team.
The CURE staff also wanted a photo with her, and of course she is a head taller than everyone.
Vinail Apino thanks Miss World for the visit.
A word to the world about CURE Kenya. Miss World held a press briefing before she left.