The resident, Yorlenny Azofeifa, 35, was born with a cleft lip. Since she was 9 months old she has been in and out of public hospitals, receiving a total of 10 surgeries on her face.
Ten years ago she went to get her lip reconstructed but ended up with sunken scars that run from the crevices of her eyes to the bridge of her nose.
“I tell you that even the operations rooms are not with all the medical equipment to operate on the children and the people,” she said.
The result has caused Ms. Azofeifa to have a low self-esteem, and even contemplate suicide, she said.
“To be serious, I need help. For years I tried to kill myself not wanting to go, but God stayed with me and has given me all the strength to move forward,” she said.
Ms. Azofeifa’s faith has paid off as she said her prayers have been answered, through Victor Urzola, a surgeon, who she refers to as an angel of God. Urzola has agreed to operate on Ms. Azofeifa’s face, not charging her for the surgery or the anesthesia.
He will put fat into her face and operate on her eyes to try and remove the scars.
The operation is scheduled for Aug. 7 and will happen in a private facility. Ms. Azofeifa will need to raise approximately $2,000 for her stay in the clinic after the surgery and her medications.
The young woman received her high school degree in Hondonada de Acosta. There she studied to be a tourist guide.
She was laid off from her job at Gray Line, after the company had to cut staff. Since her job ended, Ms. Azofeifa has been unable to find work.
“I have suffered too much discrimination. People do not give me work because of my face. I have wept for years. This is a response from God. My family is very humble,” she said. “To clarify, in my work as a guide, I have never had discrimination by tourists.” According to Ms. Azofeifa, the reconstruction of her face is not just her desire but the wish of her mother who is dying of lung cancer.
“She dreams to see me pretty. I believe that she blames herself for my face, and I want that she sees me pretty and that I don’t cry anymore and her neither.”
This dream is something she shares with her mother.
“I dream to see my beautiful face and to speak perfect English, so that no one teases about my face and my English,” she said.