The Amazing Gavin
Gavin arrived at ACHH on December 14, 2008 at just 13 days of age. At first glance, all one might have been able to see was the very large cleft that engulfed the right side of Gavin’s face, extending into his cheek and up to his eyelid.
As you can imagine, it was very difficult to feed Gavin. His nanny would feed him very slowly by spoon, requiring the utmost of patience and attention. Of course, spoon feeding would take so long that Gavin would routinely become upset and cry. Gavin quickly graduated to bottle feedings and was able to get the milk into his tummy quicker, which made him a much happier baby!
When we found out that Dr. Ness thought he could operate on Gavin during LWB’s Cleft Medical Exchange in Shanghai, we were so excited, yet cautious, as we didn’t know if Gavin would be able to gain the required weight to proceed with the surgery. Miraculously, Gavin weighed exactly 10 pounds by the time of surgery. Unfortunately, we weren’t out of the woods yet. Gavin became sick the first day of the Medical Exchange and was unable to receive surgery. He was given medications and watched carefully all week with hopes that he would be well enough by Friday to receive his life changing surgery. So many people around the world were praying and wondering, “Would Gavin get his turn?” Well, amazingly, Gavin’s lungs cleared up, he appeared strong, and was deemed healthy enough to receive his surgery by Dr. Ness and the Team! The surgeons worked for four hours with great skill to repair Gavin’s large facial cleft.
As everyone waited for the first look at Gavin’s face after surgery, one may have been wondering, “How will such a large cleft be closed in one surgery?” Dr. Ness and the Team definitely outdid themselves on Gavin! Gavin has recovered so well and so rapidly that he is ready to graduate from ACHH and will be moving in with a foster family in Hefei very soon.
As you can see below in the “after” photo, Gavin’s transformation is nothing short of amazing! When I look at Gavin’s post surgery photos, I am simply mesmerized and can’t seem to take my eyes off of him!! He is whole…He is complete…He is absolutely perfect! So, even though at first glance, all one could see was the very large cleft engulfing Gavin’s face, now all that can be seen in those eyes is Hope, Healing, and the chance for a very bright future! What a story our Amazing Gavin will have to tell!
Trish Gerber is the Anhui Cleft Healing Home Coordinator. She lives with her husband, Shon, and four children in Kansas. Her youngest child was adopted from Anhui, China in 2008 and received the gift of a cleft lip repair from LWB in 2006. They await their fifth child, a son, from Maoming, China.