Maxillofacial Issues are no longer a source of pain

I was born with a maxillofacial birth defect known as a ‘hair lip’, also referred to as a cleft lip.  Although, I didn’t have the cleft palette, I did have complications associated to teeth not forming correctly and hearing problems (gum ear) due to the inner ear tubes not being ‘normal’ in size.

Life for me from birth until my late teenage years involved lots of visits to hospital.  At one stage I was having an operation a year related to either ENT (ears, nose and throat), maxillofacial or teeth corrections.  Countless x-rays and general anesthetics.  Not to mention the constant bullying and pain because I looked ‘different’.  I missed a lot of school.  It was a difficult time, but I think it shaped me and developed my EQ (Emotional Intelligence) from an early age.

At 3 months I had my first plastic surgery to correct the lip.  I had my second and final plastic surgery operation at 10 years old.  Generally speaking facial skin stops developing at this age and is considered stable to re-operate on.

hair lip, maxillofacial, birth defect
23 days old - pre-op
hair lip, maxillofacial,

It wasn’t so much the obviousness of looking ‘different’ that was challenging, but also feeling different to everybody else.  Growing up is difficult enough for most children; making sense of their world.  But having a maxillofacial defect adds to that pain.  Especially when children can be so cruel to each other, pointing out these things.  I was bullied particularly badly during middle school (age 8 to 12).  

I had tremendous love and support growing up from my family and the amazing surgeons at the NHS made life bearable, but I still felt ‘different’.  

DMS - Hair Lip - Early years - post op
Early years
DMS - Hair Lip - 10years old
10 years old - post op

If you would like to read more about my maxillofacial story then click here to a read a recent interview with Charlie Beswick that captures it all. 

What causes birth defects

Birth defects can be attributed to:

  • It occurs because of a fault on chromosome 22 and can cause characteristic or unusual facial features, heart abnormalitiespalate problems (e.g. an isolated cleft palate, a submucous cleft palate (where there is a layer of skin covering the cleft) or a soft palate that looks normal but still causes problems.  To read more about this click here.
  • Hereditary gene progression.
  • Environmental factors whilst the child is being carried in the womb

It is not the cards that we are dealt in life, but how we play them.

How Ysp can help you with your Maxillofacial issues

As someone who has suffered from a maxillofacial birth defect all my life.  I feel uniquely positioned to help you! I can help someone who has a maxillofacial defect, a parent or caregiver of a child with a maxillofacial issue.  I use a range of modalities to help support and remove the pain associated with the issues, this could be, but not limited to:

  • Dealing with anger and guilt
  • Overwhelm, stress, sleep disorders
  • Sadness, low mood, feeling isolated
  • Feeling alone.
  • Loss of connection to peers as a result of having a child with a maxillofacial issue