C88D4A84-4A26-4100-807E-6BE7EA07A8C9FDBFE4B7-B620-4E31-B722-A938B5F6989A75CA158D-2651-4EF8-B52F-3CE171A099E185F79223-AF7F-4068-AE05-1A0B4FD41F97First , Jack was officially released his IEP for speech therapy at school! Surprisingly he was a little sad about this as he has loved all his speech teachers (and who wouldn’t want prizes and affirmation every single week of your life—right?) His current SLP was sad to see him go too!

Now Jack’s cleft journey will take its next step this week!

The “gum line repair” on Jack’s surgery timeline seemed forever away when looking at his timeline as a baby. But, here we are in the eve of his surgery day! While his face was repaired at 7 months and palate reconstructed at 14 months, we had to wait to repair his gum line, which is still in 3 pieces, until his adult teeth were ready . So now, at 9 years old, he is a go for the graft!

After some research, interviewing, asking all the people all the questions, and praying, Jack has a surgeon ready to take his care into the next phase. Monday afternoon Jack will have bone harvested from his left hip (we’re not taking chances with that right kicker leg-ha!). His doc will pack this bone into the two spaces in his gum line/nasal areas that are still bilaterally clefted. This will allow his gum line to be smooth, healthy, and ready for adult teeth to thrive in.

Jack’s amazing orthodontic care has prepped his gum line for success! Ortho made the front of his gum line more u-shaped versus a-shaped, so that the bones will be more likely to graft successfully. For the clefties in this journey too—this phase 1 of ortho involved a little less than a year of upper braces and palate expander for 3 – 4 months. Headgear is helping correct his underbite. Braces stay on during surgery!

We will know if the surgery was successful with X-rays in a few (long!) months. In the meantime, Jack will rock the liquid diet and avoid soccer and tetherball (current passion and class champ) for about 6-8 weeks. We are prepped and ready (thanks Costco!)!! I’m hoping warm blended soup, chocolate milk, and soft styrofoam cups will ease some of his discomfort early on.

As always we so appreciate the prayer and support from our community! Specifically we’re praying for our surgeon to be able to graft both clefts in one surgery and for Jack to be healthy, calm, and safe. Thank you for caring about our Jackie boy!

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