When Haward was born and his mother saw that the child had a facial deformity, it saddened her greatly but knew she would still care for him. Word of the birth and the complication reached his father who was still at home. His father decided he had no need for this kind of child, or in his mind, the kind of wife who would bear him such an offspring. In a rage, he rejected both of them forever. He set their house on fire so the mother and boy would have no home to come to and then took off. His grandfather, though, took it upon himself to be the father figure that Haward needed. He rescued his daughter-in-law and his new grandson. It was Haward’s grandfather that brought him to the ConnectMed team at the ABC Community Clinic in May 2014 to see if anything could be done for him. According to the grandfather, Haward tried to go to school but was teased and rejected by the other boys. He was shy and scared of everyone because they only seemed to laugh at or belittle him. The grandfather’s greatest wish for Haward after returning home from surgery is: “I hope he can have a friend.”
That wish came true even before surgery as Haward bonded with another boy, Justin, who was also while awaiting surgery for cleft lip and palate. The two realized that they had a lot in common and befriended each other – and by the end of CMI”s visit, the two were painting pictures and pottery and playing soccer together.