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Christmas joy for family of Taunton cleft lip baby Leland
AFTER an agonising summer watching their young son undergo surgery, the parents of nine-month-old Leland Venn-Jones didn’t mind one bit when Christmas turned into a noisy affair.
Leland has made a remarkable recovery after he was operated on to correct a cleft lip and alveolus (gum) at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, at the end of July.
All that remains visually from the disfiguring condition is a small scar above his upper lip – and even that is likely to disappear by the time he goes to school.
Parents Kirsty and Andrew, of Lambrook Road, Taunton, are delighted he no longer needs regular appointments with the GP and specialists, although he may need further work on his teeth at a later date.
Kirsty said: “We’re so happy at how well it has all gone.
“He was down for two-and-a-half hours for the operation, but was well enough to go home the following afternoon and hasn’t had any problems since. He won’t need to see the doctors until he’s three and we’re hopeful he won’t need speech therapy.
“He’s a normal, healthy boy and is on target for everything – he’s trying to walk and say ‘Daddy’ when Andrew goes off to work, already has four teeth and we’ve weaned him on to normal food.
“He loves the lights on the Christmas tree, went to his first party in a Santa costume and enjoyed his presents, which included a drum kit from his grandfather.”
Mrs Venn-Jones has been able to ease the fears of another mother whose daughter was born with a cleft palate and faces a similar operation to the one Leland had.
She said: “It’s a worrying time and I’ve been able to talk to her about my experience with Leland.
“People who see Leland now just can’t believe the transformation and how brilliant he looks. It’s amazing how well he’s done.
“We’re glad it’s all over for the moment and are really thankful to the nurses and surgeons at Frenchay and the health visitor at French Weir, in Taunton.”
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