Mellor 13 yrs old, and Recto 10 yrs old, were brought to Israel last December 7, 2013 by the Israeli Medical Mission Team who were deployed last month at Bogo City after super typhoon Yolanda severely hit the northern areas of Cebu.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III, together with Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, welcomed the arrival of the children. Governor Davide thanked the Government of Israel for the free surgery they extended to both kids. Vice Governor Magpale as co-chair of the PCWC (Provincial Council on Women and Children) also assured the families of the children that the provincial government will help in the post-surgery needs of the children, like providing for speech therapist, as recommended by the Israeli doctors.
Reunited with their families, Mellor and Recto expressed gratitude to the Israelis who sponsored their operation abroad.
“Dili nako sungo-gon sa akung mga classmates og bungi”, says Yanny Mellor who recounted that before the operation, he always recieved hurtful remarks from classmates as they always call him “bungi”. Belito Mellor and Jocelyn Mellor, parents of Yanny, thanked the Israelis for changing the life of their son. They recall that Yanny really wanted to study hard and earn money so that he can have his cleft palate operated. “Pangandoy jud nya nga maka skwela para ipatahi iyang bungi”, Yanny’s father said. Yanny Mellor, a grade 4 student, hopes to become a doctor someday.
An emotional Cresencia Lopez, the grandmother of Rex Nino Lopez, rushed to hug her grandson after his almost two weeks of stay in Israel for the surgery. With tears of joy, Lola Crescencia thanked the Israelis and the people behind the successful operation of her grandson. Rex Nino grew up in the care of his “lola” since he was two years old. His mother is confined in a jail facility in Mandaue City. Nino’s dream is to become a policeman someday.
Mark Spencer Vistar, who acted as their guardian, accompanied the children in Israel. He revealed that the Isrealis were very attentive to the needs of the two boys and accommodated them at Orinat Recovery Center. The children were operated at Schneider Medical Center of Israel and were attended by head surgeon Dr. Kalish.
Mayor Mar Martinez of San Remegio said that Yanny and Nino’s experience is a symbol of hope and cooperation with the international community, an inspiration amidst challenges brought by super typhoon Yolanda. “ We will be able to repair, we will come out better just like the two boys” said Martinez. Diane Higida