Patient Story:

The Burden of Cleft Care

In the minutes after giving birth, Silviya was concerned - she had not yet held her baby, Andrei. Where was the child she had longed for? Was something wrong with him?

When a nurse at last presented Andrei, Silviya was unprepared for what she saw. Her confusion turned to grief. Her nurses counseled that she put Andrei up for adoption. “Medical care for cleft lip and palate will be too great a burden for you,” they advised.

Sadly, like many mothers before her, Silviya parted with her son at the hospital believing that institutional care was the only way for Andrei to receive the cleft treatments he needed.

Silviya, however, never gave up hope that she would bring Andrei home.
Eventually, Silviya found the support she desperately needed from Association ALA’s network of parents and cleft professionals. She was immediately reassured that Andrei’s cleft challenges could be successfully treated over time with surgery, speech therapy and dental care, all while he was in her care.

Empowered with this knowledge, Silviya was at last reunited with her son, supporting him at every step of his rehabilitation journey. Silviya’s greatest hope now is that other families receive accurate cleft information and support from day one.