Monash Health in the Media: Monash Children’s Hospital gives young Hunter the gift of a smile

Herald Sun article image of young Hunter and his parents smiling

Eighteen-month-old Hunter Henry has a win you over smile, that his parents put down to the “amazing team” at Monash Children’s Hospital.

The toddler was born with a cleft lip and palate, putting him at increased risk for hearing loss and dental problems.

The condition was identified during an ultrasound before his birth.

The discovery prompted a referral to the specialist Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies Service at Monash Children’s Hospital, where a multidisciplinary team prepared his mum and dad for what was to come.

“That extra layer of support really made it easier,” his dad Simon Henry told the Herald Sun.

Within hours of Hunter’s birth Paediatric Clinical Nurse Coordinator Amy McLeod was on hand to help guide his care and feeding.

From left to right a photo of surgeon Nelson Low, patient Hunter, and nurse coordinator Amy McLeod smiling

At six months, the Head of Paediatric Plastic Surgery Mr Nelson Low performed surgery to repair Hunter’s lip.

At 12 months the youngster had surgery to close a hole in the roof of his mouth.

“For all the things he has had thrown at him, he is meeting his milestones,” said Mr Henry.

“He has just started using a straw, those little things are a big deal for us.”

In the future Hunter will have surgery to treat an open gum, but his future is bright.

“We want families to know that this is a fixable condition; there is no cleft big enough that can’t be closed,” said Mr Low.

“There is a smile at the end of this journey.”

For more information about the Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies Service, please visit: https://monashchildrenshospital.org/cleft-and-craniofacial-anomalies-service/