This Month's Featured Family!
February 2005

Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate

Mason's Journal
Hi, my name is Mason William Fischer Warrick. I am one year old. I was born July 14, 2003 at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, IL. I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and a complete cleft of my hard and soft palate. I was in the hospital for three days after I was born because I was not eating well. But that was okay because the nurses spoiled me! Before I came home, my family showed my cousins pictures of other people with cleft on the computer so they would know what to expect. They all thought of me as perfect even though I have cleft.

When I was one week old my mommy and daddy took me to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana where I met my craniofacial team for the first time. They took pictures of me and taught my mommy and daddy how to feed me better. They also put me on 27 calorie formula so I would gain weight before my surgeries. Also, while I was there they put me to sleep and made me an oral obturator (false palate) so that I could suck on my bottles better.

When I was four weeks old, I was put in the hospital because I had viral meningitis. I was in the hospital for four days. Luckily, we caught it early so I didn’t get that sick.

When I was about two months old my Mamma and Pappa planned a fundraiser for me. Everyone in the town where I live donated money and prizes to raffle off. We sold tickets and held a drawing. People bought a bunch of tickets and we raffled off all of the prizes. All of the money was put into my account to help with my bills and for when I am in the hospital. It was so nice of everyone to help me.
On November 25, 2003 I was four and a half months old and I had my cleft lip repaired. My mommy and daddy were sad because it would be the last time that they would see me with my cleft lip. My surgery lasted about two and a half hours. When I woke up I had a bunch of stitches. I had to eat out of a syringe tip bottle (actually an enema bottle) for three weeks. Everything went so well I go to go home the next day! Just in time for Thanksgiving. I was all healed up in time for Christmas. I got a bunch of toys and had a good time.

In February of 2004 my mommy signed me up for first steps.
They helped me learn to eat and helped with my speech. My occupational therapist and my developmental therapies were both really nice. Also in February I was scheduled to have my alveolar bone grafting done. But, when I woke on the morning of my surgery I had a fever. We found out hat I had an ear infection so they couldn’t do surgery.
On March 31, 2004 I finally had my bone grafting surgery done. It was my easiest surgery. When I came out of surgery I had to lie in an oxygen tent so that I could breathe better. Even though they used pieces of my rib, I was back to myself in just a few days. I still had to use a syringe tipped bottle for three weeks.

When I was eleven months old we had a hearing test done. It showed that my eardrums were not vibrating right and I was not hearing as good as I should have been. Mommy, Daddy and my doctors decided that I should have tubes put in my ears. While all of this was happening I still would not eat any food. My occupational therapist was trying everything she could to get me to eat but I was scared of a spoon because I thought that it would hurt my lip.
Before we knew it, it was time for my first birthday. We had a big carnival party. We had games, prizes and a clown that made balloon animals. My cake was big top tent w/clowns around it. It was so fun.

The very next week, July 23, 2004, it was time for my palate surgery. Everyone was nervous. This was expected to be my hardest surgery. I didn’t have to be at the hospital until 11:00am. So I had time to play with my brother and see my mamma before I left. When I got to the hospital I got to play with toys until my mommy and daddy talked to my doctors.
Then they gave me some medicine that made me really silly. This was so I wouldn’t cry when they took me to the operating room. My surgery lasted about three and a half hours. When I woke up my cleft palate was gone and I had tubes in my ears. I was in lots of pain and would not eat. Also, the doctors had stitched my tongue to the outside of my cheek so it would not block my airway. I went home Saturday, July 24, 2004 at 9:00am. When I got home I was eating and playing. By Saturday afternoon I was not feeling good again and I would not eat. By Saturday night I was running a high fever. We had to go to the emergency room. When we got there they told us that I was dehydrated and I had developed an infection. I was put in the hospital and had an IV for four days. I had blisters all over my mouth and tongue. It hurt really badly. I still would not eat so finally my mommy and daddy had to force feed me chicken broth. I finally started eating and I got to go home. During this surgery Mommy bought me a bottle called a Soft Sipp bottle. I had to drink out of this for four weeks. When I got home everyone was so excited. They all came to see me.
On my next checkup they said everything was perfect. Even my hearing was back to normal! When my doctor said it was okay, I started eating. This was so exciting to everyone because I had never wanted to eat. Now I eat everything and my occupational therapist stopped coming because I didn’t need help anymore. I still have speech once a week but other than that I am a normal, happy one year old. I love to play with my big brother Devyn and all of my cousins. I like to play with trucks and I love to go swimming. I even go underwater and go down water slides, with my daddy of course!
I hope my story helps anyone who needs it. If you would like to know anything else about me or need help with anything you can contact my Mommy at

Thanks for taking your time to read about me!!

~Mason William Fischer Warrick
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