Sunday, March 30, 2014

Journey Ordained: Ryan's Story

On January 17, Ryan and I made the trek to the Cranofacial Clinic at Scottish Rite. If you don’t know, Ryan, who is 11 years old, was born with a unilateral complete cleft lip and palate along with an alveolar cleft of his gum line. He has had 12 surgeries to date and will have many more before this journey is over. You can read more of Ryan’s story here:

Ryan had two appointments, one with orthodontics and one with our plastic surgeon. For our ortho appointment, Ryan was supposed to finally get his expander. For the plastic surgeon appointment, I had no idea what to prepare for because Ryan had been on a break for a year and a half from seeing Dr. Williams.

At our ortho appointment, Ryan did get his expander. He handled it well but putting in this little piece seemed to hurt him. They had to hammer this piece into the roof of his mouth. OUCH! We will follow up in a couple weeks and over the course of time, this piece will be adjusted to help his orthodontist shift the teeth.

Nothing could have prepared me for what our plastic surgeon would say. I say “nothing could have prepared me for this” a lot but this journey ALWAYS  takes me by surprise! Our plastic surgeon noticed that Ryan’s face is flattening between his nose and his upper lip. The way to repair this is a surgery called a maxiallary distraction. This surgery is two part. The first surgery will insert metal plates into his cheeks with rods that will come through his mouth. Over the course of 6-7 weeks, we will travel to his plastic’s surgeon’s office and they will adjust the settings on the rods. After his upper jaw has shifted, the metal plates will come out. The first part of the surgery will be April 29th. He will be out of school for the rest of the year. The recovery process is about 12-18 weeks. This surgery is major reconstruction.

To say I am scared does not even begin to describe how I feel. But a few weeks ago our preacher preached on the sanctity of life and he shared Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained  for me were written in your book before one of them came to be,” I had heard the verse many times before but on this particular Sunday, it was like God was SCREAMING at me “I have ORDAINED this JOURNEY for Ryan long before I ever created Ryan!” Blessed assurance. This journey takes me by surprise but it doesn’t take God by surprise.  I trust God (as does Ryan) that when we can’t understand, our lives have been ordained by God.

During the next 5 weeks as we prepare for this surgery, there are needs that we have. First is a need for prayer. Add us to any prayer list you can and pray diligently for our son, his surgery, the team of medical doctors, and the home bound team provided by his school.
Second is a financial need. Ryan does have dual private insurance coverage so while the primary plan only covers 80% of the surgery cost the secondary insurance coverage will pick up the 20%. We will be responsible for a deductible of $2500.00 plus expenses associated with being in the hospital, the drive back and forth for our family, and for the driving to and from the plastic surgeon’s office after surgery for adjustments. We have set up a fundraising page for donations, any money given will be used for the deductible and other medically related expenses. Our goal is $3500.00 , if we were to exceed this then that given above and beyond will be used for orthodontics (an expense of $8,000) and future surgeries. You can find our fundraising page here:

Any financial gift that you give will be greatly appreciated. I am also in the process of constructing a FaceBook page called “Journey Ordained” where we will tell Ryan’s story and give updates during the surgery and weeks after. The page will probably be up by the middle of April. I’ll post an update here when it has been published. 
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