Cleft & Craniofacial Anomalies

At Nemours, we promise to do whatever it takes to treat children as we would our own. When your child comes to Nemours, we know you’re placing your trust in us. This trust and our dedication to improving the health of your child is what inspires us to provide exceptional care and the most satisfying experience possible.

Patient Stories

Rachel: Cleft Lip & Palate

“At Nemours, they’re really good to me. They tell me what they’re going to do, they’re gentle, and they’re nice. It never hurts, and I’m not usually scared. I even go to summer camp there, and I’ve gone on hayrides with other kids in the cleft program.”

— Rachel, patient


cleft lip and palate patient Rachel

When Rachel’s mother was five months pregnant, a routine ultrasound showed the presence of a cleft lip and palate. Her gynecologist referred her to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children for a perinatal (before birth) consultation with the Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies Program.

Rachel’s parents met with one of our doctors specializing in Genetics, our cleft lip and palate coordinator, and Joseph Napoli, MD, Division Chief of Plastic, Maxillofacial, and Craniofacial Surgery.

Our team confirmed the diagnosis, prepared Rachel’s parents for everything they would be dealing with, and explained how we would support and help them along the way. We also went over the options for little Rachel’s treatment and care. When she was born, her parents were prepared and ready to begin treatment, and our team was in contact with them from day one.

Rachel had surgery during infancy to repair her cleft lip and palate with no complications. Today, she’s a happy, healthy, and quite charming 9-year-old.

“At Nemours, they’re really good to me,” says Rachel. “They tell me what they’re going to do, they’re gentle and they’re nice. It never hurts and I’m not usually scared. I even go to summer camp there and I’ve gone on hayrides with other kids in the cleft program.”

Rachel’s mother agrees: “They make you feel like family. Here, we feel safe.” She also says that the doctors and other members of the cleft team are humble, helpful, and upbeat, and their appointments are never rushed: “They’ve done a great job in helping prepare Rachel to interact with kids and adults around her and made sure that she is confident and happy.”

As she plays on one of the hospital’s playgrounds, Rachel is asked if she’d recommend Nemours. She responds with a bright smile: “Yes, everything is clean and the people are friendly. I’d tell other kids, ‘You’ll like the doctors, nurses, and the hospital.' I like the TVs, too!”


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