Cleft lip and palate repair for Zane

When the government gave permission for specialized hospitals to operate once again, Tebow CURE was ready. Our building was made spot-free from floor to ceiling and chairs were placed strategically to ensure social distancing. We were ready and excited to welcome our first patients after lockdown, and that is when we met Zane and his mom Russel. 

Zane brings so much joy to his dad, Anacleto, and his mom, Russel. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family had a lot more time at home together, with Zane singing and dancing to tunes that Anacleto plays on his guitar. Zane, himself, strums the guitar even before he can walk on his own feet! Anacleto and Russel have been very hands-on in Zane’s formative years, but they couldn’t help but feel lacking when it comes to his well-being.

“We have so many dreams for Zane. He also has so many things he wants to do as a kid,” says Zane’s dad, Anacleto. 

“Zane was born with a cleft lip and palate. I never saw that on the ultrasound, but I wasn’t surprised to see him with a deformity when he was born. One of his cousins also had a cleft lip and palate. Zane hasn’t had any treatment for this until we got referred to Tebow CURE. We are nervous but mostly excited,” adds Mom Russel. 

Cleft lip and palate is a congenital defect where the nose, lip, or palate fail to fuse correctly while in the mother’s womb. Dr. Andrew, Tebow CURE’s plastic surgeon, further explains that it could either be genetic, lack of nutrition, or part of any other syndrome that a child may have. “If a child is untreated early on, everything becomes more complicated. On top of the social problems that they go through, there’s a great possibility that they will have deformed and rotten teeth and a lot of infection. For cleft lip surgery, we rearrange oral tissues to close the gap and, as much as possible, recreate a normal looking lip and nose. For the palate, it’s more than just closing up a hole. We rearrange oral muscles so the child can continue to speak.” 

Zane before surgery
Zane after surgery
Photo of the Heidi Isaac

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