Alison and Chris are married and have two daughters and a son. Their son was born with unilateral cleft lip and palate and he is now 13 years old. At the time of interview their son was soon to undergo a bone graft operation to straighten his gum.
Alison and Chris are married and have two daughters and a son. Their son was born with unilateral cleft lip and palate and he is now 13 years old. The couple were not aware that their son was going to be born with a cleft lip and palate as it had not been visible on scans and came as a shock for them. The couple had not been aware of cleft in their families and were left wondering about the cause.
Although Alison and Chriss son was born at a good weight he was immediately taken to the special care baby unit for observation and so that he could be fed. Alison found it difficult to be separated from her son but they were reunited the next day. The cleft nurse also came to see the couple and they were shown how to use special squeezy bottles to feed their son.
Alison and Chris’s son has had a lip repair operation and palate repair operation in his first year of life at their regional cleft centre. Their consultant at this centre had informed the family that their son would may not need further surgery and that it was case of “watching and waiting”. However, the family have since moved to another part of the UK and while having a routine check-up they were informed by their son’s new cleft consultant that he would require a bone graft to straighten his gum line. At this point Alison consulted other parents for advice and reassurance through the CLAPA Facebook page.
Their son has adapted well to having a cleft lip and palate but has had the opportunity to talk with a psychologist from the cleft service with regard to his forthcoming bone graft surgery. Prior to undergoing this surgery their son has also had appointments with an orthodontist who has made a brace for their son to wear to prepare his teeth for the bone graft surgery. He does not enjoy wearing a brace because it alters his speech and he is worried that he may break it. Consequently, he has refused to speak and eat which has been very distressing for the family.
Fortunately, Alison and Chris’s son has not experienced any major teasing or bullying from his peers due to having a cleft lip and palate, and he enjoys playing on his Xbox and attending sea cadets in his spare time.