Cleft Palate: Xavier


“His staff and the cleft palate team as a whole have been so wonderful to us. The care and support that we have received has been amazing. They have exceeded our expectations.”

— Jessie, Xavier’s mother about Dr. Napoli and the Cleft Palate staff at Nemours


cleft palate patient Xavier

Xavier was born at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pa., with a cleft palate and a recessed chin, as a result of Pierre Robin Sequence (a condition often characterized by an abnormally small lower jaw formation that causes the tongue to fall back into the throat).

“We were completely blindsided,” his mother, Jessy, says. “It was one of the most stressful and terrifying times in our lives. Our son had significant troubles with feeding and maintaining unobstructed airways. He was fed via N-G tube [a tube that runs through the nose down into the stomach for feeding] and laid in a prone position. It was extremely difficult for my husband and me to watch our newborn son lay in the crib in his hospital room attached to all kinds of wires and alarms. The memories of those days still bring tears to my eyes!”

“At Lankenau, doctors recommended that we consider transferring Xavier to Nemours, due to the excellence of the staff, particularly Dr. Napoli. At the time, we honestly did not know if Nemours would be any different than going to another hospital. It was the remarkable recommendations that were provided to us by Lankenau's NICU that helped us make the decision to go to Nemours. Today, we are so happy with our decision!”

Xavier was transferred to the NICU at Nemours/Alftred I. duPont Hospital for Children when he was five days old. When he was three weeks old, he underwent his first surgery (for glossoplexy, when the tongue is attached to the lip). He was finally able to go home when he was seven weeks old. At 11 months of age, Xavier had his palate repaired. Xavier's surgery was completed in May 2009 and he has been doing fabulous ever since. His parents still keep an eye on his speech, but he’s making remarkable progress.  

“Dr. Napoli has been absolutely remarkable throughout this entire journey,” says Jessy. “He made our child complete! We are forever indebted to him. His staff and the cleft palate team as a whole have been so wonderful to us. The care and support that we have received has been amazing. They have exceeded our expectations”

When asked to compare her experiences elsewhere, Jessy continues: “We did briefly consider other hospitals, simply because of the closer proximity to our home. In the end, we decided that our son would receive the best care if we went to Nemours. We felt that, at Nemours, he wouldn't get lost in the shuffle of other "more priority or severe" cases. And, there are no parking hassles, traffic backups, and one-way streets like we would have had if we chose another hospital.

“Prior to coming to Nemours, we had been with a pediatrician’s office for two years. Even after two years, the staff at this location did not even know our child's name. But the personalized care and attention we receive at Nemours is truly remarkable. Since our experience at Nemours, we recommend Nemours to everyone.”


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