Our Little Fighter Gail!
Gail was about 2 months old when she arrived at ACCH in February 2009 with a large unilateral cleft lip and palate. She was a fighter then and is still fighting now! Since arriving at ACCH, Gail has always seemed “on guard,” keeping her tiny fists clenched and her eyes constantly on watch.
At first, when she was upset she would cry loudly and grab the staff’s hair, as if to say “I may be small, but I need your attention!” And, while Gail has been described as having a strong personality, lately she has started to relax. She doesn’t cry as much and is more cooperative when getting her diapers and clothes changed. Just recently, the staff described how she even gave them a big smile after looking at herself in the mirror! She is turning into quite a little lady.
Gail’s fighting personality is apparent in her everyday life. She is small, but has been slowly gaining weight, even though she has suffered some medical issues. She caught a cold in May which turned into pneumonia. She stayed at the hospital for a few weeks where she was treated for her respiratory illness. She is now back at ACCH recovering nicely. Even though Gail has experienced challenges with her health lately, she has shown what a little fighter she is by continuing to get stronger and put on weight. These pictures perfectly highlight her little fighting spirit.
Camera Man approaches Gail with camera aimed at her. Gail is very uneasy about this situation and thinks to herself “What shall I do now? Nanny, please don’t go away and leave me alone with this guy!”
Gail, getting ready in her fighting position, states “Okay, the nanny ignored me. It looks like I am going to have to handle this guy myself.”
“All right Camera Man, you’ve left me no choice, put up those dukes and let’s get down to it!”
Ahhh, now our little fighter can get some rest. Relax Gail and sleep tight!
We all look forward to the day when Gail is big and strong enough to receive her cleft surgery. We know this little girl with the big personality will go far in life!
Lisa Schmidt is an Anhui Cleft Healing Home Assistant. She lives with her husband and four children in Virginia. Her youngest child, a son, was adopted from Fujian Province, China in 2008. Her oldest child, a daughter, was born with a cleft lip and palate.