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Sep 13, 2012

Healthy Living explores cleft palate and complications

A medical team from the World Pediatric Project will be holding a clinic this weekend to treat persons with congenital disorders.  Many parents will be seeking evaluation for their children on a number of deformities.  Healthy Living this week sat one on one with a mother, who is attending the clinic to gain some insight on her child’s condition.


Roslyn Reid, Mother of Child with Cleft Palate

“I had a normal, normal pregnancy I didn’t even have vomiting, morning sickness nothing or anything like that. I use to exercise at work and everything normal.”


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Having a child born with any kind of medical condition is difficult for parents to fathom. In fact, it’s the scenario that soon to be parents dread. Twenty one year old Roslyn Reid is one of many mothers who’ve had this experience. Her twenty month old, Alize, was born with a congenital disorder.


Roslyn Reid

Roslyn Reid

“When I delivered her a couple hours later she needed to feed. I gave her my breast and she was just making this (cluck) you know that sound. It may sound like she hungry. I tell the doctor that my nipple feel funny like she’s not gripping it, so they took her for almost half hour to an hour and when she came back she came back with a  bulb in her hand and I asked her what was that and then she told me that she (Alize) had a cleft palate.”


A cleft pallet is a birth defect where the roof of the baby’s mouth—the palate—doesn’t develop normally during a pregnancy which means the child is born with an opening  or a cleft in the roof of the mouth. For this young mother, it meant a great deal of additional care for her only child.


Roslyn Reid

“It means sleepless nights, long days. I use to just have to just stay up with her. If I was feeding her in the night I would have to check her, sometimes I would just get up and suction her nose like a mother’s instinct.”


Roslyn says the most difficult part of managing Alize’s care is keeping her at her proper weight; a common side effect for children with cleft palate.


Doctor Victor Rosado, Pediatrician

“Unfortunately, by the very nature of the cleft palate, gaining weight of the child is difficult because the child chokes on the milk. In the first year of life, the food is primarily liquid through a bottle and that causes a lot of choking. There are special nipples with a false ceiling on it to create a seal on the roof of the mouth. So babies who have cleft palate sometimes, we as physicians and nurses have to take the time out to teach the mother what position to feed the baby and sometimes we use some specialized nipples and even some specialized formulas to assist the baby to gain weight.”


Luckily, the deformity can be treated. There are medical missions that frequently visit Belize to conduct the specialized surgeries. However, Alize, has not been able to gain sufficient weight to have the surgery done.


Roslyn Reid

Victor Rosado

“She has been going with the group from she was three months. Every time we go because she’s underweight we can’t get the surgery done. So they told me in august they were coming early when I got the call I was like finally. I really want her to do it and get over that part of it so that we can only focus on one thing.”


That one other thing – is bringing Alize back up to speed with her developmental milestones: another side effect for cleft palate. At 20 months, Alize is not able to walk or talk.


Roslyn Reid

“When she is standing her hand would go all the way to the back and she did funny little things with her right side that put to me start questioning it more.”


Doctor Victor Rosado

“Many times, cleft palate is part of a syndrome. And so if the cleft palate is part of a syndrome, then you will have other findings. You will notice that the child at six months will not reach what we refer to as the developmental milestones. When the child is one, the child won’t be able to walk; you will notice some speech delays—you will notice other findings as the child gets a little older towards oen and two years.”


Roslyn Reid

“From the first time I saw Dr. Rosado, he referred me to care Belize and from when she was about eight to nine months we were already doing therapy with her so now that I just found out about it, it was like she has something over it because she was already doing the therapy.”


Roslyn and Alize are now looking forward to an upcoming pediatric clinic this weekend being organized by the World Pediatric Project, Min of Health & Friends of Pediatric; with high hopes that Alize will finally be of sufficient weight to be able to have her surgery. In the meantime, her strong support system and persistence keeps her motivated.


Roslyn Reid

“I honestly just pray to god I take her to church and I have my family support like a hundred percent. My mom use to cry for her like more than me. So just family support I guess.  My advice is just be persistent; try every little thing, it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, I went up to having a dollar to travel just because I wanted to make sure everything is okay. Even if you see the equipment for the therapy is expensive, get it because at the ending of the day the baby will be more comfortable at home doing the therapy. And also be strong; if you have family support there is nothing else that can hold you back.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Healthy Living explores cleft palate and complications”

  1. mar says:

    Girl , i really admire you …. and for the child… i pray to our lord that she will get well … and may god guide the surgeons so that the operation is a success …. my best wishes goes to you …..

  2. Storm says:

    Many thanks and prayers for the generous foreigners who come to our little country to help the poor and needy children. They relieve a lot of suffering for a lifetime with their efforts. God bless them all.

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