Observing the Team in Action
My name is Heidi Walker and I was born with a unilateral cleft lip and cleft palate on June 16th, 1991. Today, at 23 years of age, I have undergone a total of 7 surgeries to correct my lip, palate, and nose appearance. As a cleft lip and palate patient, I was not part of a cleft team. Growing up, I went to many different surgeons, dentists, and periodontists to correct my condition. While this approach worked in my case, it was not always the easiest and most convenient process. As a BSN student this summer, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team at UT Physicians Pediatric Surgery Clinic and observe the cleft team in action. I was very impressed with their team approach to the care of their cleft lip and palate patients. This team is designed specifically for craniofacial children, making the transition process for parents and families with a newborn cleft lip and/or palate baby extremely convenient. Being part of this esteemed cleft team provides parents with access to the best surgeons, dentists, speech pathologists, and counselors in the Houston area. Instead of independently searching for the best specialists for cleft lip and palate babies, this cleft team provides that excellent care for their patients. They utilize the most up-to-date practices that have been proven to produce the best results for cleft lip and palate children, with a goal to provide each patient the ability to live a long, happy and healthy life. Dr. Teichgraeber and his team care so much for their patients and families and it is evident through their work. Every child and family is taken care of. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to spend time at the clinic. Thank you to Dr. Teichgraeber and his team, for blessing me with this opportunity, and for blessing the many cleft lip and palate children with the opportunity to live a healthy life.