Christina Parker Photography

"Preserving Time for Generations to Come"

What happens when? March 6, 2013

A smile is your own facial signature with each one being unique and is often the first thing another will focus on when looking at your face.  What happens when your smile is not like others?   For thousands of children and adults their smile is affected by a cleft.  Matthew was one of those babies born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and this is his story.

 

 

Matthew came into the world on a warm afternoon in August 2009 with a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate. 

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His cleft was on the severe side and it quickly became apparent that the simple things that most take for granted would be a challenge.  Feeding Matthew was a challenge as he didn’t have the oral structure needed to suck from the breast or bottle.  He met with a team of specialists who from the day he was born created a treatment plan.  This plan included weekly hospital visits, weekly dental visits, an oral appliance (NAM-nasoalveolar molding device), and hearing tests which all led up to his first surgery, his lip repair in December 2009. During the 4.5 hour surgery his plastic surgeon fused the muscles in his lip, joined the three segments of his cleft together, lifted and shaped his flattened nose.  For the first time in his life, Matthew no longer had a cleft lip.  His wide smile was no longer and his new smile would be one that people wouldn’t stare at negatively or with pity.  Matthew started puréed foods at 6 months old like other babies his age.  With Matthew’s cleft palate he would often choke and aspirate the food that had entered his nasal cavity.  We stayed away from hard cereals or other typical teething food as pieces could and sometimes would get lodged along the side of his nasal passage.  Matthew did continue to have speech therapy and frequent dental care until his palate repair in September 2010 where the same plastic surgeon closed the gaping hole in his palate.

Matthew still has years of treatment which include bone grafting, orthodontic, and other facial surgeries but until then he is a thriving three year old who loves reading books, playing with his siblings, and most of all playing with his trains.  Matthew’s determination, will, and spirit continue to inspire those who work with him. ~post written by Amanda L. Matthew’s Mom!

With your donation of $24, 100% will go towards operation smile, to help repair other children across the world! You will receive 1, desk size print or a headshot image.   Can I count on your support April 4-April 6, 2013?  Please book your session time at www.christinaparkerphotography.com

 

 

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LOVE! February 21, 2013

LOVE!

Thank you for sharing your love with me during this past Valentine’s Day! Three of the children, that are shown in these portraits, are heart children. These three have had some BIG time complicated open heart surgeries. One of these children, is waiting for a heart transplant! 12 years ago, having my own heart child, that had open heart surgery at just 6 weeks of age, I can relate to these moms, and each of these children, what a great pleasure to bring out their personalities!

One of my darling friends, is post 25 years, since her heart transplant. She taught me years ago, that having a heart condition, not everyone realizes that it can take so much energy to do the daily tasks. She would sometimes encounter strangers that would mock her when she used a motorized wheelchair that was available to be used in a big store, like Costco or Wal-mart. These strangers, felt that she might be abusing the opportunity for someone else to use the device, who might of been more sicker than her. What a good reminder to me, that we shouldn’t judge, and we should look to the good in others!

“Be proud, of your scars”…it shows what these children have endured, and their strength to overcome,and these scars or in many cases known as “Zippers” to our heart children, represent so much more than the surgeries they have come through. It represents our tears, our worries, our prayers, the many doctor and specialist appointments, the many people that come and go in and out of our lives, the nurses, the echogram technologists, social workers, and of course, our hope for them to live a fulfilled life, as long as they can! In the words, of one of my favourite songs, by Mindy Gledhill, “All About Your Heart“…and was actually written for Stephanie Nielson, of the nie nie dialogues, who survived a fiery plane crash.

“Oh, I’ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
It’s not about your scars
It’s all about your heart”

Christina