‘Reason Leads to Conclusions; It’s Emotion That Leads to Action’: Operation Smile Changes Lives by Taking Action
Dr. William P. Magee Jr. and Kathleen S. Magee, founders of Operation Smile, explain the moment of clarity that led them to start an organization that has changed lives in ways they could never have imagined.
Sometimes, it just takes one moment of clarity to see an opportunity to make a difference. In the video above, Dr. William P. Magee Jr. and Kathleen S. Magee, founders of Operation Smile, explain what this moment of clarity was like for them, and how they decided to act on it.
Thirty-five years ago, they were just two people who visited the Philippines as medical volunteers. During their time offering medical services, they were surprised to find that over 250 children came to them with either a cleft lip or cleft palate; the Magees soon learned cleft lip and cleft palate is the third most common birth deformity in the world. And though it is a devastatingly reality that interrupts and hinders many natural processes like speaking, drinking and often eating, it is something that can be easily corrected.
Once the Magees felt the magnitude of the need, they couldn’t help but do something: “Reason leads to conclusions; it’s emotion that leads to action,” William shares.
Lightworkers’ own Roma Downey, who is also an ambassador for Operation Smile, holds the organization very dear to her heart, having supported the mission for many years. In 2003, Roma traveled to Vietnam to take part in an Operation Smile international mission. She also went on missions to Honduras and Nicaragua. Then, in 2008, she traveled to Jordan for a mission with her husband Mark Burnett and their children. While there, they attended the opening ceremony of the Roma Downey Life Support Training Center, which provides medical professionals with Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) training in accordance with Operation Smile’s International Training Organization accreditation with the American Heart Association.
“You can only imagine the devastation a parent must feel when there are no resources available to heal their child,” Downey says. “Operation Smile invites local surgeons to train in how to perform the operations. It’s the philosophy that if you give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day. If you teach him to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”
To learn more about Operation Smile and the difference they are making in the lives of others worldwide, check out the video above.