Peter's latest (and we hope last) round of braces and jaw reconstruction was a two-year process that pushed our patience, amplified our anxiety, hit the wallet pretty hard, and ultimately ended with amazing results. The road trip was long and bumpy, but Peter pushed through in total rock star fashion.
The Good News
The good news is that Peter can now chew food, swallow safely, and close his mouth-- all things he could not do before jaw reconstruction. Imagine not being able to touch your tongue to your front teeth! Peter is working with a swallow therapist and discovering what kinds of flavors and textures he likes. After 17 years of a liquid diet, this is nothing short of miraculous! He actually ate a sloppy joe sandwich recently!!!
The Bad News
The disappointing news is that Peter's trach stoma remains open. The ultimate goal of the jaw reconstruction was to enlarge his upper airway. Unfortunately, there appears to still be obstruction happening. We are working with several ENTs to figure out the mystery of Peter's anamtomy. Next step is a bronchoscopy & sleep state endoscopy in the OR. We are hopeful this will reveal what's going on and that it won't require more surgery.
I had a very hard time getting comfortable with Peter's new face after last summer's jaw surgery. It's difficult to explain, but I felt as if I was grieving. He looked much older after the surgery, so maybe it was more that he suddenly aged five years on me! I did get used to his new look though, and the results are obviously amazing. See for yourself...
Read about Peter's Cochlear Implant Surgery
Graber Orthodontics in Vernon Hills and Glenview, IL handled Peter's second phase of braces & treatment
Dr. John Polley & the Craniofacial Team at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI did Peter's jaw reconstruction
TMJ Concepts in Ventura, CA designed and customized Peter's TMJ Implant.