Guest blog by Juliana Morano, mother to pediatric patient Anna Morano
Anna was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. She is being treated by Dr. Mann, which is where she first met her speech therapist, Jenn Bobb. Due to her cleft, Anna was having a very difficult time making sounds and forming words appropriate for her age. Dr. Mann referred her to Mary Free Bed first for speech, and then later on for nutrition.
When Anna started at Mary Free Bed, she had very few audible words. She relied heavily on sign language and a few basic words to communicate with those around her. After just a few months with “Miss Jenn,” Anna stopped using her sign language and her vocabulary increased immensely.
As Anna got older, we continued to bring her to MFB even though she started receiving services through the school system. The school staff and the MFB staffed worked together wonderfully. Anna has only benefited from having such compassionate professionals working with her and for her.
“Miss Jenn” has brought the best out in Anna. She helps her stay focused on their goals, while minimizing frustration, and always having a fun time. If for any reason Jenn isn’t available, Anna gets to see “Miss Emily.” She brings new games and different techniques to the sessions. Anna loves seeing them both because even though they are different, they both obviously care about Anna and her progress.
Anna was referred to nutrition after she had a difficult time gaining weight after her many procedures and surgeries. She needed help adjusting to the changes in her lips and palate. “Miss Jenn” taught her how to chew and properly swallow. She and the nutritional team also helped us manage her diet so she could continue to thrive during her educational process. Anna is now at a weight that her doctors are happy with. More importantly, she has become a more adventurous eater and can eat most foods without any assistance.
Anna loves coming to her appointments at Mary Free Bed. She enjoys her visits and is excited to see any of the professionals we work with, whether it’s “Miss Jenn” at therapy, the Center for Limb Differences doctors or Dr. Rush and his staff.
We are always treated with respect and compassion. As her mother, I am confident in my choice of the Mary Free Bed family because I know they are working for her physical comfort, for her emotional development and for her future. They believe in Anna, so Anna believes in herself.