Sunday, November 27, 2005

Girl with no face speaks first words

Faceless Girl Speaks First Words
A toddler with Treacher-Collins Syndrome, born missing half the bones in her face, spoke her first words after surgery to begin building facial bones for her. Doctors hope she will eventually be able to speak, eat, and breathe normally. The original story of little Juliana is here.

Juliana's parents consider her a gift from God not just to her family, but to the world. Students who raised money for Juliana were enchanted with her, one girl commenting, "She's just the cutest little thing!"

When I worked at an institution for the mentally retarded, I learned that the people hurt most by institutionalization aren't the people who end up in the institution, but those who never get to know them because they're hidden away from the world. Maybe part of why Juliana is with us is to teach us what we lose when we reject people because they're different in ways that make us uncomfortable until we get to know them.

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