“I’m just proud of her and everything she’s been through and how she dealt with it,” said Michael Hamilton of Kinston, NC, about his daughter, Paisleigh.
“It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it,” said Paisleigh’s mom, Melissa Hamilton. “The way her scar is now, you can’t even tell she had cleft lip and palate.”
The Hamiltons were referring to the remarkable treatment that transformed their now 21-month-old daughter into a little girl who eats, talks and smiles much like other kids her age.
Before Paisleigh was born, doctors detected on an ultrasound that she had cleft lip and palate, a birth defect in which the lip or mouth doesn’t develop properly. The Hamiltons turned to Duke, where they met pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Marcus, MD.
“Paisleigh had a cleft that went through the lip and the palate and through the gum line,” said Marcus. “Fifty percent of all of the kids we see are going to have that sort of pattern.”