Andi Kezh

Andi KezhAndi Kezh, 8, of Decatur, Ga., has emerged as a talented young athlete, playing travel soccer for the Cobb Futbol Club (CFC), East Lady Chiefs Academy team and swimming for the Dekalb County State team. In 2009, Andi and her swim relay partners placed seventh in the state for the freestyle event.

Despite Andi’s accolades in sports, she has faced many challenges in her life. Andi was born with a cleft lip and palate. In 2001, Joseph K. Williams, M.D., Chief of Plastic Surgery, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Center for Craniofacial Disorders, performed the first surgery on 3-month-old Andi. Since then, Andi has undergone six additional surgeries during the past eight years.

“The craniofacial team at Children’s is amazing, from Dr. Williams to Michael Granger, D.M.D., to the geneticists,” said Laurie Kezh, Andi’s mother. “My daughter has had multiple surgeries and is still a beautiful, active child. With her excellent attitude and physical activities, she really is a great role model for other kids and a source of relief to parents.”

Andi and her family are pleased with the results of the surgeries, but there are still several more surgeries to go until her treatment is complete. She will have her next surgery when she is 11 or 12 years old.

Andi is now in third grade, and in addition to playing sports, she loves spending time with her family. She now considers the team at Children’s her extended family, and she hopes her story will provide encouragement to families and children with cleft disorders.

6 months old

4 years old

5 years old

Andi at 6 months old

Andi at 4 years old

Andi at 5 years old

6 years old

8 years old

Andi at 6 years old

Andi at 8 years old