Max Gristina was born with a forme fruste, a type of cleft lip and palate. Fortunately, he could have all of his medical issues corrected in one visit by a team of pediatric-trained surgeons at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
A cleft lip and palate means the top of the mouth and upper lip did not come together during a child’s development in the womb. It would have made it difficult for Max to talk, eat and even breathe.
Max's parents, Joanne and Thomas, brought their son to Children's at Scottish Rite from their home in Columbus, Ga. In just one day, Max was able to have three surgeries. His cleft lip and palate was repaired by Fernando Burstein, M.D., a pediatric plastic surgeon. Andrew Kirsch, M.D., pediatric urologist, corrected a genital malformation, and Norman Novelly, D.O., pediatric otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat), implanted ear tubes to help prevent any future speech problems.