2 boys arrive home from Israel after surgery

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

CAPITOL officials yesterday welcomed the two boys who arrived from Israel where they had corrective surgery for their cleft lip and palate.

Rex Nino Recto, 10, and Yanny Millor, 13, with Mark Spencer Vistar, 23, as their guardian, left Cebu for Israel last Nov. 27.

They were operated on at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Israel last Dec 3.

They returned to Cebu Dec. 13 and were reunited with their families yesterday.

They are Grade 3 and Grade 4 students of Barangay Canagahan Elementary School in San Remigio, Cebu.

Nino was met by his grandmother, Cresencia Lopez, 74, at the Montebello Villa Hotel lobby yesterday.

“Sa ako man gud sya nagdako (He grew up under my care),” Lopez said, adding that it was the first time they were separated.

Nino started living with her since he was two years old, when his parents were sent to prison.

Yanny’s father Melito, 57, a farmer, and his mother Jocelyn Millor, 54, were happy to see their son.

“Pirmi na mosumbong ug mohilak tawon, kay tawagon kuno siya’g Yani Bungi, Yani Bungi!

(He used to come home crying after his friends taunted him of his condition),” Melito said.

“Luomon na lang tawon niya ang iyang kahiubos (he just kept the pain to himself),” Jocelyn said.

Melito would tell the boy, the eighth of nine children, to just accept his fate.

“You’re now given a brand new life to live normally without rejection and shame because of a deformity,” Emily Chioson, honorary consul of Israel, told the boys and their parents.

“I’m sure these two boys will now have a bright future,” said Cebu Gov Hilario Davide.

Davide, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez and former congressman Celestino Martinez III had a press conference with Chioson yesterday. The boys’ families were present.

On the first two nights in Israel, Nino kept crying because he missed his grandmother and he wanted to go home, Vistar said.

On Dec. 3, the boys were operated on. It took Dr. Eyal Kalish three hours to operate on Recto and longer on Yanny, who had two cleft lips.

“Buotan kaayo sobra (Israel hospital doctors and staff) kami ray mauwaw (they are very nice to us),” said Vistar.

The boys left the hospital on Friday. On Saturday they heard mass with John and Rose Mariano, the Filipino couple who accompanied them around. Other Filipinos in Israel visited them and gave them gifts.

Chioson thanked God for the successful operation and the Israel Government for paying for the medical bills, the trip and the accommodation.

Davide thanked Chioson for the boys’ travel papers and the Israeli Government for all its help.

Magpale said the Provincial Council for Women and Children still has funds for the boy’s speech therapy, which was recommended by the surgeon.

“They were once considered people with disabilities. But not anymore after the operation. Thank you very much,” Magpale said.

Loi Madrigal, Capitol’s security chief, said he was with Dror Gabay, Israeli regional ambassador in Cebu, when they saw the boys in San Remigio where they were installing a water pump for typhoon Yolanda survivors.

Yanny was playing while Nino was carrying a basin of laundry on his head. That day the boys were invited to go to Israel for the operation.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 15, 2013.

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