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Family-centered Care at Shriners Children’s Boston: Meet Maverick

Maverick's smile is bright.

When Erin and Matt learned during a 20-week anatomy scan that their baby, Maverick, would be born with a cleft lip and palate, they were determined to learn as much as possible about their child’s condition.

They immediately focused on finding the best treatment available for their newborn. The expectant parents researched a number of medical facilities, speaking with clinicians and gathering information that would help them make the important decision on where to send Maverick for care. As they learned more about Shriners Children’s Boston, Erin and Matt were confident they had found the right fit for their family. “We knew this was the best place for us and our son,” explained Erin.

As Maverick’s birth approached, his parents felt anxious about facing the unknown. Would it be a challenge to feed Maverick? Would his condition affect growth and speech? What would others say about how he looked? Thanks to the support of their care team at Shriners Children’s Boston, Erin and Matt started to feel more comfortable and informed about the challenges their family might encounter.

An active and adorable 1-year-old, Maverick has been on the move since he started crawling. He had his first surgery at 4 months on his cleft lip and primary palate. A second surgery when Maverick was 10 months old focused on repair of his secondary palate. Erin and Matt are awed by Maverick’s strength and resilience after undergoing two surgeries in his first year of life. “Maverick has truly been a rock star,” said Erin. “He has taught us more than we could have ever imagined.”

In the weeks leading up to Maverick’s first surgery, Erin and Matt wondered what his smile would look like after the repair. Erin recalled that Maverick had “the brightest and biggest smile that truly would light up a room. After the surgeries, his new smile is just as perfect,” Erin said.

The support of their Shriners Children’s Boston care team has helped the whole family navigate every step. “We love being able to reach out to a team of people when we have questions,” said Erin. “All of the nurses, nutritionists, speech pathologists, social workers and doctors have made us feel so welcomed.”

All of the nurses, nutritionists, speech pathologists, social workers and doctors have made us feel so welcomed.
Erin, Maverick's mother

The family now visits Shriners Children’s Boston every two months for continued care. As Maverick grows, his care team will monitor his lip and palate, determining if additional surgeries are necessary.

Erin and Matt have great advice to share with other families. They accepted help from relatives when it was offered, allowing them to reset and focus on Maverick’s care. “The first year is tough, but it will make you resilient and stronger than you think,” Erin said. “Enjoy all the milestones; they just might be a little different, and that’s okay. Give yourself and your baby grace as you discover what works best for everyone.”

Erin and Matt decided to share their story so they could help other families experiencing a cleft lip and palate diagnosis. For them, one of the most difficult parts of the process was not knowing what to expect. “Once Maverick arrived, we were very confident and comfortable with Maverick’s diagnosis and were very open to educating others. We have found that people are very curious about cleft lip and palate and they want to learn more,” Erin said.

Meet Maverick

This adorable 1-year-old lights up rooms with his smiles.

Maverick

Maverick before his surgeries

Maverick

Maverick enjoying a sunny day

Maverick

Maverick a few months after he was born

next steps

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