BABY Ruby Trowern has a beautiful smile that delights her proud parents.
But it’s only there thanks to the work of expert doctors who worked to correct her cleft lip and palate.
Now Ruby’s mum Emma Howell and dad Lee Trowern have sent a huge cash donation to charity to help others like their daughter.
The couple helped raise more than £1,200 for charity after being impressed by the treatment given to their daughter by specialists at Salisbury District Hospital.
Ruby, from Brockhurst Road in Gosport, was born on June 24 last year with left unilateral cleft lip and palate.
She had two operations to repair the condition and needs one more at the age of seven or eight.
Lee, 25, said: ‘We wanted to say thank you to the hospital and give something back to the charity.
‘I didn’t realise about the condition until it happened to us.
‘We want to help other children who will be born with it in the future.
‘Without fundraising, these things would be a lot slower.’
The couple found out about the cleft lip and palate at Emma’s 20-week scan.
‘It was traumatic and we were a little bit downhearted,’ added Lee.
‘Emma found it hard to come to terms with. It’s something you just take for granted.
‘People so often have the perfect baby. We were worried about how big the problem was going to be.
‘But once Ruby came along we loved her for who she was.
‘Once she had her first operation, she was like a different girl. It’s such a big change.
‘It’s something that’s in the public eye all the time because it’s on her face.’
The £1,239 raised by the couple will go to the Cleft Lip and Palate Association.
A charity football match, a live music event at the WPM Club and a sponsored diet all contributed to the fundraising.
Lee added that the treatment the family received was outstanding.
‘The staff at the hospital were really good,’ he added.
‘They were so friendly. The support staff came out weekly to make sure that Ruby was progressing and that she was feeding ok.
‘Ruby has always been a smiley baby.
‘She has come on leaps and bounds now, she is a happy baby.’