Our daughter is Erin Kane. She is six years old, and suffered a severe insult to her brain during or shortly after birth. Her injury to her brain left her with several conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Cortical Visual Impairment and a rare form of Epilepsy. She also suffered from a variety of health conditions which made day-to-day life a challenge for her. Simple things, such as a restful night’s sleep was virtually unheard of due to her snoring and tossing/turning. Her ability to gain weight was extremely limited by her inability to manipulate foods due to what we thought was lack of muscle control in her tongue/cheek areas. At one point, serious consideration was given to having a G-tube procedure so that Erin would not be labeled “Failure to Thrive”, all in an effort to get her to gain weight. And then there was her inability to speak. We recognized her whines and moans for the different things she would need, but she didn’t really say many words at all.
Someone recommended we see Dr. Boyd at Dentistry for Children and Families. I admit I was skeptical. What we learned from meeting with Dr. Boyd was not only enlightening, but it gave us something we didn’t have in a while…hope. Dr. Boyd showed us just how narrow and raised Erin’s palate was. After some consideration, and a good deal of research on my part, we agreed to do whatever we could to help Erin be just as normal as any other child and began a series of adjustments to help her palate expand and lower.
It’s been abut a year now, and the results have been amazing. Erin sleeps the entire night without waking. She used to toss and turn and sleep with her mouth wide open as she tried to breathe through the night. Now, in just a matter of months, she sleeps soundly and breathes effortlessly through her nose. Most mornings she can be found in her bed in the same position we tucked her in the night before. And that’s just the sleeping.
Erin’s ability to eat different foods is only surpassed by her seemingly endless appetite. Her weight gain and physical growth have been quite noticeable by everyone who knows her. It’s amazing to me that only months ago we contemplated a G-tube, and now Erin eats pizza, chicken, nearly any kind of pasta she can get her hands on, hamburgers (bun and all), vegetables, donuts, muffins…ok, so not all health food, but it’s FOOD.
If these were the only advances, I would be pleased. However, they are not. Unless you’ve had a child who has never said your name, never said hello, never been able to answer basic questions, you wouldn’t understand this part. Erin can now say “Hi” as clear as her brothers and sisters, can say their names (Makenzie’s name gives her a challenge), says “Yes” when she wants something and given choices…and best of all, she can say “Mommy” and “Dad”. No words to express how that feels.
Thank you Dr. Boyd and staff. You have helped my little girl and have earned my eternal respect and gratitude.