Our appointment with the cranio-facial team and our plastic surgeon was to be a dreary affair where we talked about the structures around The Boy’s mouth to steel ourselves for the journey ahead. It seems they were expecting his pre-maxilla to require some intervention to bring it closer to his face before the surgery on his lip could commence. They had already ruled out using a kind of bonnet to provide traction, and so were planning to discuss various appliances which would use plates and screws over the course of several months to pull this bit of flesh back toward his mouth and into a position where it would be able to be integrated into a surgical repair. This would, of course, make feeding all the more difficult and would in all likelihood undo much of the progress he’s made. Plus, it would be darned uncomfortable.
Well, jaws dropped and eyebrows soared when they saw our Will. For, it seems, this dreaded nasal canula, which has delivered oxygen to his nose for the past month or so, has somehow, inexplicably moved that bit of flesh into perfect position. This tube of prongy silicone that we have plotted against has actually provided the perfect traction. Our frustration with his tiny dependence upon oxygen was, in the end, stood on its ear. For the very thing that we have cursed has turned out to be a blessing.
So once everyone had come by to shake their head and stare in wonder, we were told that we could go ahead with his lip closure once he’s recovered from his second heart operation. “We don’t need to see him again,” they said with relief and joy, “just let us know when you’re back in the Cardiac ICU, and we’ll talk then.”