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Surgery Stories

  • Name: Ruel
  • Location: Eastern Samar

Ruel’s Story & the Birth of the Ruel Foundation

Ruel lived in an isolated village on the isolated island of Eastern Samar in the Philippines. Born with a double cleft lip and pallet he had problems swallowing food – assuming that there was food to swallow, which there wasn’t!

The fact that his parents didn’t really want him, limited his life expectancy considerably. He became so weak his parents finally brought him to the local hospital where he was discovered by David Cowie, the Founder of the Ruel Foundation.

With no money to pay for any kind of medication, the nurses put Ruel on a saline drip and “hoped for the best”. Ruel did improve a little and was sent home but was followed up a few months later by Jesse Misa, a Ruel Foundation board member who immediately returned him to hospital in a near unconscious condition.

With the help of the Governor and his wife along with the local Catholic sisters, Ruel began to grow stronger. Donors were found to sponsor his accommodation and medical care and so the “Ruel” Foundation began.

Other children were found living in poverty in isolated locations virtually forgotten by the world. As a result our centre was established in Calapan City on Mindoro Island to care for children living is poverty and isolation. Ruel now lives in Manila and has completed his education. He visits our centre from time to time as a reminder of the many people who loved and cared for him enough to save his life.