Dylan is now age 22 months old. He has undergone many challenges in his short life but he is well prepared for them because of the love and kindness of many, including St. George’s Society.
Dylan was born in May 2015 with an interior cleft palate that was inadequately treated at the local community hospital, leaving the infant with severe surgical damage. The medical/surgical team involved was not able to correct the anomaly and unfortunately exacerbated the situation for this little boy. He was referred to Babies Hospital in New York to repair the cleft palate and the damage caused by the original surgical procedures but sadly, he now relies on a tracheotomy to breathe and a feeding tube.
His parents, Jon (United Kingdom parentage), an Occupational Therapist, and Eleanor, a Physical Therapist, were prepared for the struggle ahead because of their professional skill sets but not without some support. Dylan requires 24 hour care and Eleanor is currently on leave of absence without pay to look after him. Both parents and doctors are optimistic that he will lead a normal life in the future but for now the family’s income has been drastically reduced making it difficult for them to pay the bills each month and keep a regular routine for their other young children (aged 3 and 5).
St. George’s Society responded to the emergency appeal by providing a monthly stipend of $1000 to assist with the family’s day-to-day expenses and our social worker has regular check-in calls with Dylan’s father to offer emotional support and advice.
Today, as we approach Dylan’s second birthday, he is a taking his first steps literally and figuratively. He is walking on his own, smiling at all he meets, and thriving. When our social worker did a home visit in December she asked him, “Where is Dylan?” He chuckled at such a silly question, lifted up his little finger, pointed to his chest and gave the biggest smile.
The next challenge is a surgical repair to realign his jaw as well as repair the damage to the tracheal, which will take him to the next step on the road to a full and productive life. Both parents are very appreciative of all that St. George’s Society has provided to them.