Chloe was born in 2009 with a cleft palate, meaning that the roof of her mouth was not formed properly. More than just a cosmetic issue, the cleft palate also had the potential of leading to developmental delays related to speech and hearing.
“Chloe was transferred from the hospital in Welland to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at McMaster Children’s Hospital when she was only six days old,” recalls Bonnie. “At first she needed a feeding tube, then they taught us how to use a special bottle so she could feed properly and that way we could have the feeding tube removed.”
When Chloe was almost a year old, she underwent surgery to repair the cleft palate. Following the surgery, she wore splints on her arms for two weeks to avoid her putting anything into her mouth.
Excess fluid in her ears was causing hearing loss and balance issues, so ear tubes were inserted to prevent further hearing loss and to improve her balance. Chloe has also worked closely with speech therapists and physical therapists at McMaster Children’s Hospital to help her achieve essential developmental milestones.
“Chloe is doing very well and wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for the amazing care she received,” says Bonnie.