Saline Atieno
Saline Atieno

Saline Atieno sits by Dr. Leon Klempner, left, and Dr. Alexander Dagum, chief of plastic surgery at Stony Brook Medicine. Saline received 10 operations from 2013 to 2014 at Stony Brook Children's Hospital to repair her face. Photo credit: Stony Brook University Hospital.

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Saline before her surgeries
Saline before her surgeries

Saline contracted a rare flesh-eating virus called Noma after drinking infected water in her desolate Kenyan village. She came to America in 2013 to receive treatment for her injuries. Photo credit: The Smile Rescue Fund.

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Saline returns home
Saline returns home

Saline says goodbye to Dr. Klempner and the Smile Rescue Fund volunteers at the airport. After a year in America and surgeries that gave her a new smile, she returns home to Kenya. The Smile Rescue Fund is paying for Saline's tuition at a boarding school in Kenya. Photo credit: The Smile Rescue Fund.

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Saline Atieno
Saline Atieno

Saline Atieno sits by Dr. Leon Klempner, left, and Dr. Alexander Dagum, chief of plastic surgery at Stony Brook Medicine. Saline received 10 operations from 2013 to 2014 at Stony Brook Children's Hospital to repair her face. Photo credit: Stony Brook University Hospital.

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Before Dunia, there was Saline. Saline Atieno was the first child the Smile Rescue Fund helped starting in 2013. She came from a remote village in Kenya where a rare flesh-eating virus devoured her nose and mouth. Her severe disfigurement sparked the creation of the Smile Rescue Fund. To learn more about her story and to see how Dunia is going through similar challenges as Saline did, listen to the podcast below.