My Granddaughter Was Born With a Cleft Lip and Palate

My Granddaughter Was Born With a Cleft Lip and Palate

My Granddaughter Was Born With a Cleft Lip and Palate

  • Kim Maddox’s granddaughter Ariel was born with a cleft lip and palate.
  • A pediatrician advised Kim that Ariel would die as a result of she had a lot bother consuming.
  • That is Maddox’s story, advised to Kelly Burch.

This say-to-say essay relies on a dialog with Kim Maddox. It has been edited for size and readability.

When my granddaughter Ariel was born, she got here to my home. My son and Ariel’s mom knew caring for his or her new child can be an enormous problem: Ariel had been identified with cleft lip and palate by ultrasound.

From the beginning of Ariel’s life, I’ve been her major caregiver. I realized to feed her with particular bottles that had an elongated nipple and reached the again of her throat. But when she ate, the method flowed from her nostril and mouth; we have been fortunate if half of what we gave Ariel ended up in her little stomach.

Kim Maddox's granddaughter before surgery

Courtesy of Kim Maddox

Someday my husband known as me in a panic. He was on the pediatrician with Ariel’s mom. The pediatrician advised them Ariel was not gaining weight and was going to die. I left work and went to the pediatrician, however once I acquired there the physician advised me to relax. I noticed pink. I used to be simply advised my child was dying, they usually had the nerve to inform me to relax? I advised her she was fired and took Ariel to the ER.

I began driving 15 hours for higher care

Within the ER, the docs weighed Ariel and guaranteed me she was not dying. The physician advised me that we have been doing all the pieces proper, however we simply needed to do it extra typically. Ariel’s feedings lasted about an hour and a half, and we needed to feed her each two hours.

I used to be so relieved, however this expertise with the pediatrician confirmed me that I needed to be very lively in Ariel’s care. Earlier than that, I had tried to perform a little research, however I did not know the place to begin. Our new pediatrician advised us to contact Shriner’s Youngsters’s Hospital in Ohio. It was a 15 hour drive from our dwelling in Georgia, however when you hear somebody say your baby is dying, it does not matter how far you must drive.

Ariel had her first surgical procedure at Shriner at 3 months previous to appropriate her cleft lip. The method nonetheless got here out of her nostril when she ate, nevertheless it was a a lot smaller quantity. Once we walked by the door for a follow-up appointment, the physician mentioned Ariel was the right weight. After that, I knew she can be high-quality.

Now Ariel is booming

Since then, Ariel has had extra surgical procedures. Right now, she’s a typical 4-year-old who loves storytelling, taking part in ball and swimming. While you take a look at her, you would not even know she had a cleft lip and palate. She has the slightest lisp when she’s drained or excited, however docs say she’ll be high-quality.

Kim Maddox's granddaughter posing with a balloon

Courtesy of Kim Maddox

My coronary heart breaks for the opposite dad and mom and caregivers who’re the place I used to be in these early days: understanding they need assistance, however not understanding the place to show. Now Ariel and I’ve a personalised assist staff at Shriners. Once I name, they put me straight in contact with anybody I would like to speak to, whether or not it is a nutritionist or a therapist.

I inform different dad and mom to recollect why they’re pleading. Ariel gave me energy. It is about my grandchild, my angel. Nobody will inform me if she lives or dies. If you happen to give it up, like that pediatrician did, you are not value being with. I am going to discover somebody who will transfer heaven and earth to ensure she’s alive and thriving.


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