My first Pay it Forward Post!

Meet Sophie and read her story…please consider clicking on the donate button to the right of this post and make a donation to Sophie.  In the form below you can if you want write who you are and comment regarding your donation for Sophie!

Sophie Pellegrino is a special little girl who is always happy and energetic. Sophie was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. She spent a year and a half with a G-tube for feeding because she could not eat orally. She would throw up 90% of her feedings and lacked the proper nutrition to grow. Sophie had a bleed on the brain from trauma from delivery which resulted in hydrocephalus and the placement of a VP Shunt. Sophie also was born with two holes in her heart a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).
Sophie will be having a multifaceted surgery due to the cleft lip and palate. Her surgery will consist of having a prosthesis that is currently screwed in to the roof of her mouth covering her opened hard palate, removed. During the same surgery, she will have the cleft in her hard palate repaired, as well as a revision to her soft palate which is not making proper closure and is affecting speech. Sophie will also have reconstruction to her inner and outer nostril, and upper lip, as well as tubes placed in her ears.
Prior to Sophie’s surgery, preoperative appointments are needed for clearance with specialists overseeing her health care. Sophie will also have to have extensive presurgical testing due to her health related issues.
Sophie’s recovery will be very stringent. She cannot attend school, eating will be a challenge, and she will have to have a speech/feeding therapist work with her daily to ensure the mechanics of her mouth are working properly and speech progresses. Proper wound care will have to be procured for the internal parts of her mouth and nose, as well as the external parts of her lip and nose to ensure sutures stay closed, heal, and are safeguarded from infection. Sophie is an amazing little girl who has stolen our hearts from day one. She attends my Learning Center, Kiddie Academy of East Setauket and is a very special part of it!

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About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional resource....so that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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