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Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

Frances Evans

Frances with little sister, Nell

Frances was born at 11.39 PM on March 29, 2001, after a five-hour labor and a problem-free pregnancy. We fell in love with her right away.

Immediately after she was born, the doctors discovered that she had a complete cleft of the hard and soft palate. We never saw it on the ultrasound, and we later learned that this is one of the hardest conditions to detect.

Those first few days after her birth were fraught with worry. She stayed in the hospital for nine days. We discovered that Frances had an enlarged tongue that kept her from breathing well when she was placed on her back. This condition corrected itself days after her birth when she had more muscle control. In the meantime she had to sleep on her tummy.

Frances found nursing hard as she didn’t have enough suction to breastfeed. We fed her expressed breast milk through a Pigeon Cleft Palate Nurser, which worked really well for her. Her milk had to be fortified with Ploycose to increase her caloric intake. Slowly but surely she began to gain weight.

At 13 months old she had her cleft repaired and received PE tubes in both her ears. She recovered quickly after surgery and was back to her usual self in six days, when she took her first steps!!

Today Frances is a determined, independent 3-year-old. She weighs 27 lbs and is 37 inches tall. She loves to play on the swings and cause mischief. She has a 16-month-old sister named Nell whom she adores.

We wouldn’t change Frances for the world!

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2006