Kelsey Smith
Lauderdale County
Not Feature Story
Kelsey was the first of twins born at 32 weeks at UAB Hospital in January 1993 and when she was born she had a Cleft Palate and a Club Foot. When she was six months old Dr. Howard did surgery on her to close her palate. Since then we have been seeing Dr. Howard at Children's twice a year until about two years ago and now we see him once a year and will until she turns 18. She has to go to the Cleft Palate Clinics and they check her hearing, speech, dental and other things pertaining to her palate. Due to having the Cleft Palate she has a lot of Sinus and Ear problems she has had 13 sets of tubes put in her ears over the past 15 years. Also Kelsey had a Club Foot and Dr. Killian has done numerous surgeries on her foot over the past 15 years. To look at Kelsey now you would never know what all she has gone through since the day she was born. She is a beautiful 15 year old that has a beautiful smile and she is a very active teen. She is in her third year of marching in her high school band and absolutely loves it. Had she not had the surgery on her foot to correct it she would not be able to march in the band the way she does. Kelsey's future goal is to be able to march in "The Million Dollar Band" at Alabama and that makes us so proud.

Children's Hospital is a wonderful place. The nurses, doctors and just all of the staff always took care of us no matter what. I remember when Kelsey had her Cleft Palate Closure I ended up getting sick and her doctor saw that I was very sick and needed to be able to take care of Kelsey and he got me some medicine to take so I could get better and take care of Kelsey while she was in the hospital. When she was 13 years old she had to have her tonsils removed and due to her Cleft Palate this was just not a simple surgery we had to go to Children's and after her surgery she had to be admitted and had to stay over night and the care and concern we received during that stay was wonderful. I learned during that stay that no matter how old you are also you love stuffed animals also. When we went thru Outpatient surgery the nurse came in a laughed and said I know you’re a big girl but I am going to give you a stuffed animal just because. Kelsey looked really funny and just left it laying there on the bed. When she came out of recovery she had the little turtle in her arms and when I tried to move it she grabbed it and would not turn loose. She hung onto the turtle during her stay at the hospital and even on the way home. She has the turtle put up in a special place in her room. Little things like this are what make Children's also. We have been dealing with Children's Hospital now for almost 16 years and I would not change anything. Children's Hospital is such a BLESSING to so many families I thank GOD that we have such a wonderful place here in Alabama for our children to go to. Thank you Children's Hospital!!!