Stanfield child faces multiple surgeries for bilateral cleft lip, palate

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, December 1, 2022

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A few months before Mandy and Corie Faggart were to welcome twin sons to their family this summer, the couple received some unsettling news when a routine ultrasound revealed that one of the twins had a bilateral cleft lip and palate, a split in the upper lip and roof of his mouth.

The disorder, which is common, is also correctable through surgery. So, armed with hope, Mandy set out to find the best medical assistance available.

“We found the Carolina Cleft Center in Charlotte,” said Mandy. “Dr. Rick Kapitan, our doctor, is the only surgeon there who is board certified for cleft.”

Following the birth of the twins (Bruce and Lawson) on Aug. 1, the parents began a particularly exhausting schedule, as Bruce’s condition necessitated weekly pediatric dentist and doctor visits in addition to the already-demanding time crunch parents of infant twins face.

“Between issues with feeding and being seen by every doctor imaginable, the first few months of Bruce’s life has not been easy on them,” said Jessica Caudill, Mandy’s sister, who has established a GoFundMe account to assist with medical expenses.

“As one could assume, these doctors’ appointments and multiple surgeries will rack up major bills for Mandy and Corie,” added Jessica. “As if having one baby isn’t expensive enough, they have two.”

One of the reasons for the frequent doctor visits has been regular maintenance of a nasoalveolar molding (NAM), which Bruce will wear until his first surgery on Dec. 2. The NAM, a plastic plate which helps reshape the gums, lip and nostrils before cleft lip and palate surgery, requires weekly readjustments by a pediatric dentist.

Bruce Faggart will undergo his first surgery on Friday.

According to Mandy, the surgery will be the first in a series of procedures Bruce will undergo to correct his condition.

“This first surgery will be to repair the cleft lip,” she said, “and should require a three- to five-day recovery time.”

“Then, when he is 12 to 14 months old, a second surgery will be done to repair the palate,” she added. “Recovery for that will take a little longer, probably five to seven days.

Provided the first two surgeries are successful, one final and more in-depth surgery will await Bruce at age 7 to 8 years.

“When he reaches that age, the doctors will move bone from his hip to the roof of his mouth. That is done to allow his permanent teeth to grow in properly.”

Understandably nervous on the eve of Bruce’s first surgery, Mandy expressed gratitude to the medical team and those who have supported the family in various ways, and expressed hope that people can come out and meet the family at an upcoming event.

“We hope that he (Bruce) will be home in time to come out to the Stanfield Town Barn on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.,” she said.

The event will include a time for youngsters to meet and take photos with Santa, as well as to donate toward the family’s medical expenses, according to Caudill.

“There is no charge to attend, however, we are asking for free-will donations to go to Corie and Mandy for use towards Bruce’s medical costs,” she said, “and if you don’t feel comfortable donating money, you could provide a gas gift card, grocery gift card, etc., to help offset costs they incur during trips to and from treatments and appointments.”

Want To Help?

Visit Bruce’s GoFundMe Page: