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Arkansas Children's Cleft Lip & Palate Program Helps Family Redefine "Normal"

July 12, 2019

Posted in Surgery,ENT

“The greatest challenge and the greatest blessing in my life.” That’s how Megan Meredith of Bella Vista describes her son, Jaxon, who is a patient at Arkansas Children’s.

An early ultrasound revealed that Jax had a cleft lip and palate. Megan’s physician immediately referred her to the Cleft Lip and Palate Program at Arkansas Children’s.

“With the Cleft Team, Jax sees his surgeon, an audiologist, a speech therapist, a plastic surgeon and an orthodontist every six to nine months to check up on everything,” Megan says.“We also saw a nutritionist when Jax was a newborn because eating was challenging.”

The supportive, family-centered approach to care eased the difficult experience in those early days – and over the last six years. “Over the years, it has felt as though they held hands and linked arms with us, supporting us, educating us, caring for us and giving us a level of expert care that is unrivaled,” Megan says. “Because the Cleft Team sees Jax so often, they feel more like extended family than clinical doctors.

“We’re not just patients to them,” continues Megan. “We have felt safe the entire time; we know we can trust Arkansas Children’s with Jax’s smile and care.”

Jax now has expert pediatric care close to home at Arkansas Children’s Northwest. “We travel to Little Rock a lot, but the opportunity to have our needs met right here at home is such a blessing,” says Megan. “I am especially excited for other families! I think about all the lives that will be saved because of the hospital in Springdale. Early diagnosis or early intervention - it makes a difference. It's going to change lives, enrich lives and save lives. We already feel a part of the Arkansas Children’s family, and so it feels like family just moved in a little closer. And that's a good feeling.”

Watch Jaxon's inspiring story:

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