Mally – Cleft lip and palate

Mally was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. His youngest son was also born with a cleft palate, as was his grandson of 7 months. Mally has recently had his cleft lip repaired again.

Mally works as a stevedore at the docks in his hometown. He lives alone but he has 4 adult children. Mally, his youngest son, and his grandson were all born with unilateral cleft lip and palate.

When Mally was born at the start of the 1950s there was still a lot of stigma attached to having a cleft lip and his mother did not want any pictures taken before he had his first lip repair operation. Furthermore, Mally’s original lip repair operation did not include the muscle behind the lip and he was left with a lopsided lip. Mally grew and wore a moustache for much of his adult life in order to disguise his lip. Mally has not been subjected to much teasing or bullying as a result of his appearance during his school years and working life and his confidence has not suffered. Mally also believes that his youngest son has not suffered any adverse effects of having a cleft lip and believes there is a greater awareness of appearance and disability issues now.

However, Mally was prompted to undergo a further lip repair when he heard that his grandson was going to be born with a cleft lip. Mally wanted to show his family that lip repair techniques have moved on since he was born, and he is now clean-shaven. Mally is confident that his new grandson will not experience any major difficulties from having been born with a cleft lip and palate.

Mally recently decided to have his cleft lip operated on again as his grandson was to be born with a cleft. He wanted to show his grandson’s parents (Millie and Michael) what could be done with cleft surgery these days.

Age at interview 62

Gender Male