$hamrock Rasmussen

Dr. Burstein with Shamrock as an adult. Tim Rasmussen better known as Atlanta hip-hop artist $hamrock, was born with a cleft lip and palate. Tim’s cleft lip needed five operations before he was 10 years old. It has been a long road for Tim since he was diagnosed with this common birth defect, leaving his upper lip and roof of his mouth unformed.

When Tim was nine, he had his first complex surgery—an alveolar graft performed by Fernando Burstein, M.D., Medical Director, Children’s Center for Craniofacial Disorders. An alveolar graft uses a piece of bone from the patient’s body for the roof of the mouth. Tim had his graft taken from his skull for the surgery.

"Once Tim healed from this surgery he went back to what he loved—music."

After the surgery, Tim didn’t like being out of school for several weeks, but he could always rely on the strength of his family.

“The best thing my family ever did for me was to treat me the same.” Tim said, “If I didn’t have a brother to pick on me and a Mom to ground me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Once Tim healed from this surgery he went back to what he loved—music.

“I can remember being nine or 10 years old and singing church songs and hip-hop.” Tim said, “A lot of kids with a cleft lip are embarrassed about their speech impediment. With all my singing, the first day back at school the speech therapist said I didn’t need much help!”

Tim is taking all the determination of that 9-year-old boy and turning it into his life’s ambition—being a hip-hop artist. Tim believes the title of his debut CD, Worst 2 First, reflects his journey, and how his music helped him overcome the obstacles in his life.

Now, Tim visits the new patients at the Children’s Center for Craniofacial Disorders. “I love sharing my experiences with the kids at Children’s. I think the kids like seeing a big kid who’s got it together and doing things with his life.”

Children’s is proud Tim will get to share his music with the world. Our dedicated team of doctors, nurses and therapists couldn’t be happier to see him back around the hospital, giving so many children hope for the future. 

3 months old

6 yrs old

12 yrs old

17 yrs old

baby Tim

child Tim

child Tim

mom and Tim