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    NMCP Recognizes National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month

    NMCP Recognizes National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month

    Photo By Seaman Imani Daniels | PORTSMOUTH, Va. (July 22, 2018) – Tray Wick Everett, 8 months, sleeps while...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman Imani Daniels 

    Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth

    PORTSMOUTH, Va. (July 22, 2020) July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month. Craniofacial anomalies are a diverse group of deformities in the growth of the head and facial bones. These abnormalities are present at birth and usually come together during the early weeks in the development of an unborn child.
    Lt. Cmdr. Tamara Kemp, plastic surgeon and craniofacial board team leader, recently performed surgeries on two infant patients who were both born with craniofacial anomalies – Samuel Simless, 11 months, and Tray Wick Everett, 8 months.
    “Baby Everett was born with a complete cleft lip and palate affecting the left upper lip and entire palate,” Kemp said. “Baby Samuel was born with a complete cleft through the middle of his palate which does not extend through his lip.”
    A cleft lip creates a split in the lip and separation often includes the bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum. Infants with a cleft of the hard and soft palate, such as baby Everett, have difficulty creating adequate suction on a nipple or bottle because of the opening in the roof of the mouth.
    The importance of cleft and craniofacial awareness is letting people know that this isn’t just something that can be fixed with just one surgery, or just one time.
    “A child born with a cleft or other craniofacial condition often requires specialized healthcare from infancy to young adulthood,” Kemp said. “The NMCP Cleft and Craniofacial Team offer an interdisciplinary team approach for all patients.”
    The team is made up of a variety of specialists who coordinate the multiple aspects of healthcare needed to address the specific cleft and craniofacial needs that arise throughout each patient’s development.
    Cleft lip and palate are among the most common of all birth defects in the United States. Approximately one out of every 600 newborns are affected by cleft lip/and or palate.
    “We found, the day he was born, that our son had cleft palate,” said Kimberly Simless, Samuel’s mother. “After birth he was in the NICU for about a month, and it was difficult for him to eat using a bottle so he stayed on the feeding tube for a little while. Eventually we transitioned to the bottle. Despite the process, Samuel is a normal, healthy baby.”
    NMCP has a team of providers who work closely with patients and their families to provide long-term care, guidance and resources.
    “The hardest part about this process is having our son go through surgery,” said Kadyn Everett, Tray Wick’s Father. “You never want to see your happy baby go through surgical procedures. Although he has experienced multiple surgeries, our son is hanging in there.”
    Both babies are doing fine and are being provided proper care.
    As the U.S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally-acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area's 10 branch health and TRICARE Prime Clinics, provide care for the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman for future roles in healing and wellness.



    Date Taken: 07.22.2020
    Date Posted: 07.30.2020 08:24
    Story ID: 374826
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US 

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