Adalyn Kate Blue, cleft palate 

Adalyn Blue Arkansas Childrens Hospital

Texarkana, Tex, 3 years old

When Addie was born in December 2009, she was a healthy, full-term baby who struggled to eat.

Her mom, Nicole, attempted to breastfeed her, but Addie was unable to latch on. Moving to a bottle was only slightly easier.

“Every time I would feed her, she would get choked and milk would come out of her nose,” says Nicole. “I kept telling the nurses and doctor something wasn’t right. They continued to tell me this was normal and that she might be choking on mucus.”

When Nicole and Matt, Addie’s dad, took her to her first visit with the pediatrician, they expected a healthy report. Instead, they received bad news. 

“Addie’s nurse practitioner stepped out of the room, but we didn’t think anything of it until she came back in with another doctor,” says Nicole. “That’s when we heard the dreaded, ‘She is healthy, but...’ It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Addie had a cleft palate, a hole in the roof of her mouth. The doctor gave her special instructions on how to feed Addie and made her an appointment with a specialist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Once at ACH, Nicole and Matt learned their daughter would need surgery to repair her palate. 

“The staff spent a couple of hours with us during our first visit answering all of our questions and concerns,” says Nicole. “We couldn’t have asked for a better place to be.”

Addie had her cleft palate repair surgery in November 2010, when she was 10 months old. The surgery was a complete success. Now 3, Addie visits ACH once a year for a speech, audiology and ENT check-up.

She loves listening to music, dancing and hanging out with her older brother, Trenton.

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