After a childhood accident, my husband faced a lifetime of breathing and eating challenges. We gained a profound understanding of the impact of proper medical care when a surgical procedure at Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic many years into adulthood finally allowed him to breathe through his nose for the first time. A two-hour procedure changed everything for him. I remember looking at him, with joyful tears in his eyes, and wondering, “If good care could change this for him, what could this place do for a child?”
We had already begun the process of adoption when we asked our caseworker to match us with a child with a cleft. We met with the LCPC team to ask what kind of need they were equipped to handle. What a poignant moment when the doctor’s reply was, “You have to trust me, whatever it is—we can fix it. This team will take care of your child, whatever it takes.”
A leap of faith matched us with our daughter, Qinni, and coming to LCPC turned out to be the single best decision we made for her care. We were at the clinic within a week of her homecoming. With a unilateral open palate, she grew up choking on everything she tried to eat and was resultingly malnourished. To top it off, thirteen of her twenty teeth needed fillings.
Over the next months and years, LCPC provided her dental care, performed a lip, nose, and palate repair, and additional surgeries–including a second palate procedure when hers reopened and reconstructive bone grafts. Maureen in speech therapy was Qinni’s tireless champion, single-handedly helping our daughter learn to speak when the foreign sounds of English seemed to be an unsurmountable challenge.
When I look back, Qinni was scared, timid, prone to hiding—normal things for a newly adopted child, but hugely complicated by her medical needs. Now, ten years later, thanks to specialized therapy for international adoptees and the transformative help of LCPC, she is a thoughtful, articulate, responsible, empathetic young woman. She runs track and loves science and engineering.
It’s hard for any child to endure these treatments. Believe me, it’s hard. But for Qinni, LCPC was a trusted resource in this lifelong process. This clinic offers children unconditional caring to realize their potential.
—From Angela Colasanti, parent
In Qinni’s words…
The clinic has always been kind and welcoming. The staff cares about me. I know they always have my best interest in mind. The Clinic has helped me to become the person the person I am today. While I am still in treatment, I have come so far, thanks to their help.