To donate to Silas Correll’s birthday account, go to http://www.gofundme.com/silasclelftcharity
For his first birthday, instead of receiving gifts, a very special Conyers baby and his family want to give a gift to the medical team that helped reconstruct his face.
Silas Correll was born last January with a cleft palate and lip, a birth defect that left him with no separation between his mouth and nose cavities.
In his less-than-one year of life on earth so far, this sweet baby has endured two major facial surgeries to reconstruct the roof of his mouth and lip. Although he faces more surgeries in the years to come for dental work and possible hearing issues, he is now better able to eat and is even beginning to attempt say syllables.
In gratitude, his mother Jaime Stone and father Joshua Correll wanted to do something for the craniofacial team at the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.
Jaime said, “The entire team at Scottish Rite, they were so great, informing us and teaching us everything we needed to know about” cleft palate before Silas was born. After he was born on January 20, 2014, when he was sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Northside Hospital, the medical team from CHOA would come to check on him, even walking through the “Snowpocalypse” winter storm that shut down Atlanta’s roadways.
For Silas’s first birthday, Jaime and Joshua knew they didn’t need anything since they have plenty of toys and clothes with Silas’s older brother, Elijah, 2. Instead, Jaime is asking friends, family and the community to donate to the “Silas’s 1st B-day Charity 4 Cleft” GoFundMe account online.
She started off with a modest goal of just a few hundred dollars, but after seeing how quickly that was reached, set the bar higher. Her goal now is to raise $5,000 before January 9 to present to the CHOA craniofacial team.
The experience has been an eye-opening one for Jaime and her friends and family.
“For him to be born and look so incredibly different from every other baby and be happy and great and an amazing kid, it inspired a lot of people to reach out to different charities that aren’t as common,” she said.
Their world changed the day Jaime and her fiancé Joshua, both Rockdale County High alums, went for an ultrasound. They thought they were going to find out whether they were having a boy or girl, and instead, after six hours, heard the diagnosis of bilateral cleft lip and palate.
“Obviously it was just devastating. I was not at all prepared for it,” said Jaime. “I had never thought in a million years that would happen.”
“A mother goes through stages of guilt. ‘Couldn’t I have taken another vitamin, was it something I did?’ It was a very trying time.”
She had to come to grips with the fact that researchers don’t know exactly what causes cleft palate and that it can happen to any mother.
“There should be research for why this is happening and no one can figure it out... People are being born with cleft on a daily basis and no one knows why. There’s no way to prevent it,” she said.
Luckily, Silas is healthy and like any other baby in every other way and the cleft and deformity was largely cosmetic. Jaime is looking forward to celebrating Silas’s first birthday this January and donating to the medical team that did so much for her son.
“He is so happy, he is so active. He is constantly on the move. Just like any one year old wants to do. He loves playing peekaboo. He loves Mickey Mouse and dancing. He’s just a really happy baby.”