Patient Stories

Raquel’s Smile: A Story of Perseverance and Compassionate Care

Story Summary

The smile on 4-year-old Raquel’s face represents the hope and healing.

Originally from Guatemala, Raquel has been a patient at Shriners Children’s Ohio for more than four years, undergoing countless surgeries and procedures to correct a facial cleft that affected her lips and palate. Raquel’s mom said it was so severe; her daughter could not eat solid food and was often teased by bullies.

“What she had was a much more complex version of a cleft condition,” said Dr. Christopher Gordon. “But she was an otherwise healthy kid. Heart, lungs, everything else was good, but she was starting to death because nobody knew how to feed her.”

That’s all changed thanks to Dr. Gordon and the dedicated clinical team at Shriners Children’s Ohio. Raquel is an active, vibrant girl who loves to play, wear sparkly dresses, and eat pizza, French fries and pasta. We hope her smile reminds you of the joy we see in our patients every day.

Raquel and Dr. Gordon
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