Grant Grant Phillips
Born July 15, 1995
Unilateral Cleft Lip & Palate
"Puuussshh! O.K. Breath. Puuusshhh! I see the head. One more push! " I can still hear the nurse's voice in my head. " Oh, he has a cleft lip...and palate", she said with such disappointment. My eyes filled with tears as I suddenly recalled my husbands words from just a few weeks before. "I don't know what I would do If anything was wrong with our child. I don't know if I could handle it. " Without seeing my child's face, I knew that, as a mother, my love would be unconditional. But how would my husband react, a military officer who constantly demands perfection in himself and everyone around him? How would the rest of the world react? To me, my child was already beautiful in every way. I knew however, that to the rest of the world, a child with a hole in his face is anything but beautiful. The answer to my first question came quickly. As soon as our son was delivered, my husband embraced him with every ounce of love in his body. The answer to my next question came two weeks later. Grant had just undergone his cleft lip/palate repair surgery and as I looked at him, my eyes filled with tears again. Now he was beautiful to the rest of the world, ready to face any challenge with the opportunities that every child deserves

When Grant was born, he was diagnosed with a significant left unilateral cleft of his lip and alveolus. Although his palate appeared to be intact, it was relatively short with a submucous cleft. If not corrected it would lead to future speech problems. We knew he would require surgery, but when, by whom, and to what extent was all unknown to us. His father is a member of the United States Navy and surgery would normally be scheduled somewhere after three months of age in a military hospital. However, with the right timing and a little luck, Grant's surgery was performed at sixteen days old by Dr. Magee one of the finest cleft lip/palate surgeons in the world.

Less than 24 hours after surgery, Grant was breast feeding. His survival instincts at that age to eat, overcame the pain caused by his stitches. Over the next 18 months, Grant's recovery was wonderful. His scar became almost invisible, his teeth arrived (a little crooked) but they were all there, and tubes were inserted into his ears to reduce sinus and ear infections.

Grant's second surgery will be outpatient surgery at 19 months to reduce the scaring and adjust his nose The future is bright. There is the possibility of speech therapy and more surgery to allow his permanent teeth to grow in, but our family is not concerned. Grant is a beautiful boy who is considered one of the happiest in his day care class. People continually remark at the permanent smile on his face. Thanks.

Peter & Lisa Phillips
Tel: (757)464-5766

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