ACPA Family Services

Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

Nicolás from Chile

We were nervous and excited as we eagerly awaited the birth of our first child, Nicolás who was born on May 5. When he was born they told us he had cleft lip. We did not know much about what we were dealing with, but we had some idea. At that time, we began to ask ourselves, “Was it our fault?, What did we do for this to happen?, What do we do now?, Where do we go?, etc.” We were very scared and confused, but looking at him and seeing his beautiful eyes, we realized that we must be strong and do everything we can to help him.

We always had the support of our family. A family member told us where to go, and it was there where we met specialists who were knowledgeable and treated children with clefts like Nicolás.

The truth is we couldn’t wait. We wanted everything to be done as quickly as possible. When we spoke with the doctors they told us that treatment and care would be for a period of time. However, time went by fast. In less than one year, Nicolás had two operations which went very well. We are very pleased to be able to share with you our experience, but we want to be brief and to the point. It was a tough time for us. We didn’t get much sleep at night, and we cried a lot. We were happy as well, because Nicolás was growing and each time more handsome than before. That’s all past now. We are doing very well. He is healthy and speaks quite normally, just as we imagined. He continues to see all of his doctors regularly, because the worst is over. However, he must learn to behave himself. Sometimes he gets bored and does not like to go to the doctor much. But already at 4 years old, he understands that something was wrong. He also knows that we will always be there to help him, and most important, he knows that we love him and will continue to be strong for him.

Nicolás’ birth brought us closer together. We were very young, but we faced it together. We hope that our experience will help other parents not to be discouraged but to fight to the end for your child, helping him/her to have much success in life with no limitations.

Jeannette and Francis
Nicolás’ parents

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2007