Dreger Family celebrates Day of Awareness
Owen on VBF Day 08
Ryan and family
Owen and Berry cousins
Thank You from the Dregers
large right face hemangioma
On August, 16, 2004 our little miracle finally arrived! Surprise- it
was a beautiful baby boy! We named him Owen Andrew and were completely
in love! He was our first and we were feeling overjoyed and blessed.
When he first came out and they were cleaning him up, there was some
mumble from the doctor and nurses that he had what they thought looked
like “bruising” from labor. The right side of his face looked
black and blue, almost purplish, like he had a real rough time coming
through the birth canal. But there was so much going on, at first, we
hardly paid attention.
on that evening, my husband Andrew was in the nursery and one of the
nurses said to him, “You know, that could even be a birthmark,
but the pediatrician will be coming in tomorrow morning and he will
be able to let you know more.” A birthmark?!- that large on his
face? We started getting nervous. Everyone kept saying, “It is
probably just bruising, if not, there is so much out there that they
can do with laser and modern technology these days.” That didn’t
make us feel any better. But we kept trying to think- he was here and
he was healthy, and that was all that mattered. Still, I remember staying
up that whole first night in the hospital, holding in bed in my arms,
kissing and cuddling him and whispering songs of prayers over and over,
“Please God, let everything be okay.” I just had this feeling
that something wasn’t right with his face. You could see the traced
of an outline where it spread. I couldn’t wait until the pediatrician
came in the see him. Tick, tick went the clock- he was due to come in
around 7 a.m.
The pediatrician finally came in and said that he was fairly confident
that it was just bruising, that the nurses said it already started to
fade and not to worry, that he is perfectly healthy and he’ll
see us in 2 weeks. By the time we got to our 2 weeks appointment (8/30/04),
it had gone from black and blue, then faded and lightened some, and
then turned a bright red. “This isn’t brusing, it would
have disappeared by now, we want you to see a pediatric dermatologist/specialist.”
They had no idea what it was or had seen anything like it.
Scared of the unknown, we began our journey. When we first tried to
get an appointment, we were told that we had to wait 5 months to be
seen! What? No way- whatever this was, started spreading and getting
redder, bumpier, clusters started forming, and his eye started to become
very swollen to the point where he wasn’t opening it all the way.
One of our relatives pulled some strings and we were able to get an
appointment with a plastic surgeon on 9/17/04. He informed us that Owen
had hemangioma and of a Harvard study where they use oral steroids to
suppress it from spreading. He wanted us to start him on 5 ml per day
immediately and make an appointment to see an ophthalmologist that he
works closely with.
After one week on steroids, we saw a good improvement, yet after 2
weeks we noticed some of the side effects taking place- increase in
appetite, reflux (even with taking the zantac), and weight gain. How
could such a high dosage of steroids be good for a 4 week old infant?
But whatever it takes to get him better. We were told to limit his visitors,
make sure everyone washed their hands, and not to take him to public
places. His immune system would be suppressed while being on the steroids.
We tried to remain calm, and not overreact.
Ophthalmology performed some tests at 7 weeks old and said everything
looked fine, but to try patching his good eye a few hours a week. We
had kept another appointment with a dermatologist. After meeting with
her, we learned more about hemangioma and some other risks associated
with this condition. It’s a tumor, it’s still feeding, it’s
spreading, it could be internal- let’s rule that out. She wanted
us to have an MRI on the head and neck, as well as see a cardiologist.
Cardiology wanted us to have an MRI on the heart as well. Plastic surgery
was telling us that MRIs were not that necessary, to try and start tapering
the steroids, but did not want to consider laser as an option, at least
not until he was much older (3 or 4). But when we tried to lower the
dose, it started rebounding and growing again. He expected Owen to be
on steroids until he was 6-8 months old.
Frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed, I read an article in Reader’s
Digest about Dr. Milton Waner and a little girl, Aslynn Brown (Picture
Perfect) in mid-October. The next morning (Sat.) when Owen took his
morning nap, I started researching Dr. Waner on the internet, and found
tons of articles, the Vascular Birthmark website discussion forum and
the MSN support group. I joined both and got immediate responses from
other moms urging me to contact Dr. Waner. I emailed him that afternoon
around 3:00 p.m. and sent him pictures of Owen. He wrote us back that
same night and told us that he could help us, and to set up a consultation.
Unbelievable! First that he even responded, and secondly, how quick
(and on a weekend). These days, it is so hard to find the kind of personal
attention and care that Dr. Waner displays. I spoke with his staff that
Monday and scheduled a consultation for Nov. 1st (in 2 weeks).
At our consultation, we felt comfortable and very relieved. He had
a very different philosophy about steroid treatment that was so refreshing.
We have laser surgery scheduled for 12/1/04 and 1/13/05. We are so grateful
for the support of other parents, for finding Dr. Waner, and meeting
with him. We will keep everyone posted. Thanks!
Update 12/2/04- after 1st laser surgery in NYC with Dr. Waner
We were thrown in a loop on Tuesday afternoon when the doctors’
office called to confirm surgery information. They had to move Owen’s
operation from Beth Israel hospital (east side of town) to the complete
opposite side of town at Roosevelt hospital (west side). They also informed
us that Owen would definitely have to stay overnight in the hospital
after surgery and needed to be seen the next morning by the doctor before
discharge. It would have been an hour cab ride from the current hotel
we booked to Roosevelt, so we spent almost 2 hours trying cancel and
rebook hotels. It was a big mess, but thankfully we were able to work
something out. We arrived around 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, 11/30. Owen
slept the entire car ride and after a quick feeding went right back
down once we got to our room.
I was given instructions not to feed after 4 a.m., so I nursed him
around 3:30 a.m. and he fell back to sleep until we left around 6 a.m.
It was a 5 minute cab ride and once we checked in, me, Andrew, and Owen
were taken back to the pre-op area where we waited (and kept Owen occupied)
for an hour and 1/2. In total, he didn’t eat for 5 hours and was
being SUCH A GOOD, GOOD BOY! When Dr. Waner and his team finally arrived,
we felt so relieved. We talked to him and the anesthia team and they
took Owen back to perform pulse dye laser surgery. Within 20 minutes,
Dr. Waner came out and said that everything went well and to come with
him- he walked us to the pediatric critical care unit where Owen would
recover and be monitored during his stay (because of his age).
When they brought Owen up, he was waking up from the anesthesia, crying,
and very, very bruised- black and blue over the entire infected area
of the right side of his face. His right eye was swollen shut. They
warned us about how he would look, but seeing it in person, was still
shocking and very upsetting, which made us uneasy. He was obviously
in a lot of pain and very uncomfortable. It took awhile to calm him
down and get him settled. He had many wires hooked up to him. We were
able to give him some Pedialite, and then about 2 hours later, I was
able to nurse him. Throughout the day he was very irritable and tired.
He was given Tylenol every 4 hours and the nurses were checking his
vital signs every hour. Dr. Waner was wonderful- he stopped in frequently
between his other surgeries to check on Owen. He was very pleased with
how he looked- no blisters, no signs of scaring. He was able to answer
all our questions and so was Janna, his surgerical assistant.
We are so thankful that both sets of grandparents were able to be with
us during our ordeal- they were such a great support. The grandmoms
were able to give us breaks with Owen and the grandpops were able to
get us something to eat and help with all our gear and the hotels. They
headed back home around 7:00 Wed. night and me, Andrew, and Owen all
layed down. Only 1 parent was allowed to stay overnight in the hospital,
so Andrew got a cab back to the hotel around 9:00 to get some rest.
I slept (or tried to sleep) on a cot in the room with Owen. He did pretty
good through the night- the nurses checked his vital signs every 4 hours
and he got up about every 3. Now that he sleeps on his stomach, he was
having a hard time sleeping on the side that he was operated on, so
I tried to lay him on his side in the hospital crib. We met a lot of
great people during our stay- other families that are going through
medical journeys like us.
We were put on a new schedule for the oral steroids- we have to increase
the dose during the next few days to help with the swelling, then begin
tapering it again on a weekly basis. The goal is to keep weaning until
surgery # 2 in January. We still need to be cautious of Owen being in
large crowds, public places and around those that are sick, but once
we start lowering the dose, we should be able to have a little more
freedom than we have had in the past. As a result of Owen’s MRI
on the head & neck, Dr. Waner and Janna advised us to see their
neuro specialist team when we go back in January. There are some flags
that were raised and we are going to have him checked out by the experts
in NYC. In addition, Janna will be calling us with the date of surgery
#3 that will take place at the end of February. At this time, we do
not know how many more surgeries he will need- they perform them 6 to
8 weeks apart. Apparently, they will get easier as we go along. When
this is all over, we plan to have a HUGE 1st birthday bash in August
to celebrate this eventful 1st year.
Owen will be recovering from surgery #1 over the next week or so and
the bruising and swelling should be faded in 2 to 3 weeks- just in time
for Christmas. His Mom and Dad are pretty drained (emotionally &
physically), but feel really good about how things went. All in all,
Owen did really great and really hung in there- we are so proud of him
and love him so very much. Post-op pictures are posted in the pictures
section. We are so flattered by everyone’s prayers, love, and
support. Thank you again- it has helped us all tremendously.
Update 1/13/05- after laser #2 in NYC with Dr. Waner
Owen responded so well to his first treatment- it took about 2-3 weeks
for the swelling and discoloration to go away, but then his face really
started to fade and lighten. Everyone was amazed at the difference-
we were really anxious for Dr. Waner to see his progress! Owen’s
last day of oral steroids was January, 7, 2005.
Wow- round #2 was much easier than round #1! We arrived at the same
hotel (Skyline) around 9:00 p.m. Wed. night (1/12). Owen was an angel,
sleeping the whole way up and settling back down again soon after we
checked into our room. Same instructions not to feed 4 hours before,
so when he woke up around 3:00 a.m., he nursed and then that was it.
He awoke around 5:30 a.m. and we got ready to leave for Roosevelt Hospital.
We arrived a little before 7:00 a.m., with surgery scheduled for 8:00
a.m. and were taken back to the pre-op area to check in. We did not
have to wait as long this time. Owen was the 2nd patient scheduled.
A little girl named Molly (6 weeks old) from Virginia was ahead of him.
I met her mom, Keely, online through the MSN support group website.
She had contacted me via email a few weeks ago after finding Owen’s
story and pictures. We were able to talk with her and her husband (also
named Andrew) while waiting for the doctor and anesthesia team. We were
so happy to be able to help another family, especially so early on.
We know now how education and awareness about vascular birthmarks are
so crucial right in the beginning.
Owen was still a little sleepy, just kind of clinging to me and Andrew.
We really think he knew something was up again. Dr. Langer, a vascular
neurologist, stopped in to meet with us around 7:30 a.m. He reviewed
Owen’s head/neck MRI report and we gave him a copy of the films.
Without getting into too much detail, he assured us that the findings
were nothing to be alarmed about, just some things to be aware of. We
were EXTREMELY relieved.
They took Owen back for surgery around 8:15 a.m. By 8:30 a.m., Dr.
Waner came out and took us to the recovery area. He explained that he
did not have to laser the entire area like before, only certain spots
this time. He would again have some swelling and be sore for a couple
weeks. We were instructed to give him a stress dose of steroids for
3 days only, to help with the swelling. Again, we can alternate Infant
Tylenol and Motrin every 4 hours, as needed, for the pain. It feels
like a bad sunburn and he has a hard time getting comfortable, especially
when falling asleep. We are going to keep in touch with the Dr. and
send some pictures in the next few weeks. We are keeping the 3rd surgery
date in Feb., but he will determine whether he needs it or not, once
it gets closer.
When we arrived in recovery, Owen was crying very hard (the most difficult
part). But I was able to pick him up right away. This time they gave
him the anesthesia through a mask, not an I.V. I think this made a huge
difference. He did not have all that fluid in his system and they did
not have to give that heavy steroid boost directly into an I.V. Also,
unlike last time, they let me feed him right away, and he was starving!
He ate for much longer than he normally does. He still was upset after,
but once that Tylenol kicked in, he calmed down some and fell asleep
for a little while on his daddy. We stayed in that recovery room for
about an hour, then they moved us to another room where we waited for
about 45 minutes. We changed him and got him dressed, they took his
vitals again, did a final check, and then they said we could go! We
were shocked, but thrilled!
We met the grandparents in the waiting room and got ready to head back
home. Owen was very alert until we got in the car, and then he snoozed
the whole way home.
It is going to take a few days for him to get back to himself, but
all in all, round #2 was a HUGE success and we are definitely seeing
the light shining BRIGHTLY at the end of the tunnel! It just goes to
show you the strong power of prayer and there is no greater gift than
the love and support from family and friends…
Thank you and God Bless,
Jan, Andrew, and Owen
Update- 3/22/05 after 3rd surgery in NYC with Dr. Waner
Our trip began on Monday morning, 3/21. We arrived in New York a little
before 1:00 p.m. right on time for our 1:15 p.m. follow-up consultation
appointment at Dr. Milton Waner’s office on Manhattan’s
Upper East side. Owen was a really good boy in the car and slept for
most of the trip. While in the waiting room, we talked with two other
families that traveled much longer distances to see Dr. Waner (Tennessee
When Esma (Dr. Waner’s nurse) came to take us back, Owen (rested,
fed & changed) was a very happy guy. He greeted Dr. Waner and his
staff with lots of smiles. Dr. Waner brought his two other colleagues
into the room. One was a young male doctor who we had met before. He
is training with Dr. Waner. The other doctor was a young woman, a doctor
doing research, observing cases in efforts to continue building The
Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York, which Dr. Waner has founded.
Dr. Waner and staff were extremely pleased with Owen’s face.
They looked through his file of pictures and our book of pictures and
were very happy with how far along he has come from the first time they
met us. We discussed what appeared to be some scarring in 2 areas. Dr.
Waner thought it could be from a few different things- the hemangioma
in those areas was deeper and ulceration may have occurred if we had
not treated it. Or it could even be from the steroids. It was hard to
say, but he wanted to stay on top of it. He informed us of a research
study they are doing on the effects steroids have on children with vascular
birthmarks. Since Owen was on steroids for 3 months, he asked if we
would be willing to participate in a survey and we said yes. He then
examined his lip area more closely and said that it was “the most
stubborn.” At surgery the next day he would focus on the the lip,
the 2 deeper areas and some other small patches. We then pointed out
some other areas and red marks of concern and he assured us that they
were nothing to worry about. We asked about re-growth and if he thought
any more hemangioma would come back at this point. He shook his head
no. Hemangiomas grow rapidly from 2 to 6 months and since we attacked
Owen’s so early, he is past the worst part and we are in the clear
(yeah). We informed him about our frustrations with getting the proper
pediatric ophthalmologist diagnosis and he agreed that we do need to
seek yet a 3rd opinion in order to make a decision whether Owen needs
glasses now or not. He answered a few more of our questions and then
we said good-bye until the next day.
We made our way across town to the west side where we checked in at
The Skyline hotel again. While waiting for our room to be ready, we
walked a few blocks to have dinner at a recommended steak house, which
was a bit pricey, but delicious. Owen was a little angel in the restaurant,
sleeping on mommy for most of the meal. This time our room was on the
hotel’s “noisy” side, so sleeping for all of us wasn’t
that great, but then again, it normally isn’t the night before
The next morning, we packed up and got ready for round #3. We arrived
to the hospital around 8:15 a.m. and they called us back at 9:00 a.m.
to meet with the nurses and anesthesiologist. Owen’s surgery was
scheduled for 9:30 a.m. However, Dr. Waner’s first case had some
complications, so we had to wait longer than usually back in the pre-op
area. Despite being hungry and tired, our little buddy did wonderful
while waiting- he was very calm and never made a sound the entire time.
Mommy and daddy cuddled and walked around with him. They finally came
back in to take him around 11:00 a.m. We got a quick picture with Owen
and Dr. Waner (our hero) and the doctor said, “can I take him?”
and we said yes. We watched as he carried off our handsome little man
through the big glass doors down the hall to the surgery room. Although
we know that Owen is in the best hands possible, it still stings terribly
to watch him get carried off. We made our way back to the waiting area
where we anxiously waited with “Jo Jo” (Owen’s grandmom)
for Dr. Waner to come get us. About 20 minutes later, he came walking
down the corridor nodding that things went well (wheeh- sigh of relief)
but that Owen was pretty upset (could not wait to get to him). He led
us to the same recovery area as the 2nd surgery. On our way, he informs
us that he thinks Owen may need one more surgery after this (ulgh- a
bit of disappointment sets in). He said the hemangioma on his lip is
still very thick and that he may need to work on it some more. He also
wants to make sure that those 2 deeper areas heal completely. We need
to send him pictures in about 3 weeks and he will make a decision on
when we should schedule the next treatment.
When we arrive in recovery, Owen was crying hard and there were lots
of people crowded around him. They let us in and mommy picked him up
right away to try and soothe him. He responded well to being nursed,
but was still sobbing and crying while he ate. Finally he calmed down
some and we are able to take off his monitor cords and change him out
of his hospital gown. “All done, all over- you are the best boy…let’s
go home now…” We were discharged about a half hour later.
He will spend the next couple days recovering and he will be back to
himself just in time to see what special treats the Easter bunny brings.
We are so proud of Owen. He is now 7 months old and has battled his
hemangioma since birth, seen numerous doctors, taken yucky medicines,
and healed really well from several surgical procedures. We feel extremely
fortunate to have attacked his condition at such an early age, had so
much success with his treatments so far, and that he was able to be
cured. We have met so many amazing people throughout our journey. On
this most recent trip, we met a beautiful young woman named Samantha.
Samantha is 29 years old and has been battling her facial hemangiomas
since birth. Her and her family finally found Dr. Waner who has agreed
to help treat her and change her life forever.
We pray that development, education and research continues for years
to come so others who are faced with vascular birthmarks find the correct
information and treatment needed. We continuously try to support families
who are just navigating a vascular birthmark for the first time, or
those who are much farther along in their journeys.
Thanks again and love to all- Jan, Andrew and Owen xoxo
Update- 6/23/05 after 4th surgery in NYC with Dr. Waner
Since this was the 4th time around, we felt a bit more prepared and
ready for our trip. We left around 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22,
2005 and arrived in the city by 10:00 p.m. (made great time). Owen slept
the whole way and awoke when we pulled up to the Belvedere Hotel. Our
regular hotel (The Skyline) was booked so we had to make reservations
at this other hotel a few blocks away. Although pricey, it was very
nice and very clean. After getting settled in our room, we all decided
to go to sleep- mommy, daddy, “Grand Jo/Jo Jo” (Owen’s
grandmom) and Owen.
Our wake up call got everyone moving around 5:30 a.m. Owen woke up
pretty cranky wanting to eat. However, we were able to hold him off
and he fell back asleep until we were ready to leave around 7:00 a.m.
We arrived to the hospital by 7:15 a.m.- “Here we are again, hope
this is it.” We met two other families in the waiting room. Both
had little girls with facial hemangiomas. We talked and shared stories-
what they were told by different doctors, how they found Dr. Waner,
the battles with their insurance companies, etc. It is amazing how some
stories are so similar, how much you learn from one another, and the
bond that you have with these parents who are also on the same road
to fight and help cure their children from this condition.
Dr. Waner was running behind, so when he came to greet us, we were
all very anxious to get started. Owen was next so we were instructed
to go back to the pre-op area to get him changed and ready. Owen was
“humming” and “singing” softly while mommy and
daddy walked around with him. The guilt hits us hard while watching
Owen all happy and smiling and thinking that he has no idea what is
about to happen next. We only had to wait about 15 minutes in the pre-op
area (shortest wait time yet), and Dr. Waner came in to get him. We
talked about the lip area and he said with confidence, “I’ll
get it.” Since Owen went right to him, we let Dr. Waner carry
him back through the big glass doors to the operating room again. We
walked nervously went back to the waiting room. Less than a ½
hour later, Dr. Waner came to get us and said that everything went well.
He feels strongly that the 2 areas of scarring will flatten and lighten
over time. The lip will take the longest to heal, but this should be
it. We should email him some pictures in about 5-6 weeks so he can check
out the results of this last treatment. He advised us that at this point
“nature will also take its course” and we are in the clear
as far as any rebound growth is concerned. We also discussed our insurance
The anesthesiologist carries out Owen, who is crying very loudly. She
finally hands him over and mommy is able to calm and nurse him. He does
not want to stay still to get his temperature taken or keep his pulse
monitor on. His takes frequent breaks to cry while eating since his
lip is so sore (mommy’s heart breaks while this happens). Daddy
stays right by our side. Dr. Waner checks back to make sure Owen is
ok and talks to the nurse about discharge instructions. About 25 minutes
later, we are able to change and dress Owen to go home (yeah).
Years from now, when Owen is old enough to understand, we will be able
to read him these stories and show him lots of pictures. All because
he won’t be able to remember any of this-…another thing
to be so thankful for.
We are getting ready to plan Owen’s first birthday celebration…my
what a year it has been!
Love and thanks to everyone… for everything- Jan, Andrew, and
Baby Owen Dreger
Update- 10/12/05 after 5th surgery in NYC with Dr. Waner
Well…here we go again. We spoke too soon when we thought it was
over. After emailing Dr. Waner in late August (approx. 8 weeks post-op
#4), we were disappointed to learn that he thought Owen needed additional
treatment. His office responded immediately to inform us that Owen’s
lip was not making the progress that it should and nature did not seem
to be taking its course in healing the remaining hemangioma (usually
between 10-12 months, hemangiomas may start to involute “disappear”
on their own). So we scheduled Owen’s 5th surgery for Wed. 10/12/05,
but this time we would meet Dr. Waner at Beth Israel Hospital on the
east side of town instead of St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital on
the west side where the previous surgeries had taken place. Dr. Waner
and his team thought it was necessary to “take care of business”
ASAP. Since timing is so critical in the growth of hemagiomas as well
as the timing in the healing process, he prefers to operate at the earliest
age possible. We were lucky to get on his schedule so quickly.
Being that Owen’s surgery was scheduled for 11:30 a.m., we decided
to drive up to Manhattan early that morning, rather than stay over the
night before. It was almost as if Owen knew what was going on, because
he awoke right at 5 a.m.- just in time for our departure and also for
me to give him some milk before the cut-off period (no food or drink
6 hours prior to surgery). It was not a fun drive- the weather was awful
and as a result, so was traffic. Luckily, Owen was still sleepy and
dozed on and off while we made our way through the heavy rain. Jo Jo
entertained him in the back, while daddy drove with mommy up front.
We pulled up to the hospital around 8:30 a.m. and managed to park and
get inside despite the torrential downpours. The hospital was a lot
different and not as big. We proceeded to surgical check-in where we
would wait for a good while. During this time, we got to meet Dr. Waner’s
other patients and their families. A little boy Jesse (5 months old)
and his mom from Illinois, a little girl Abby (approx. 22 months old)
and her mom from Georgia, parents of a 2 year old boy who was already
in surgery from South Dakota, and Owen’s favorite- Savannah, (9
year old girl) and her mom from Georgia. She bought Owen a little giraffe
stuffed animal from the gift shop and all he could do was smile and
laugh at her. Our short commute to NYC was nothing after hearing about
travel stories from these other families.
Still very sleepy and hungry/thirsty, we were able to occupy Owen with
toys, walks in his stroller, and rocking on our shoulders. He was starting
to get fidgety when we were called back around 11:15 a.m. Dr. Waner
was right on schedule. He asked if he could borrow Owen’s photo
scrapbook that we put together so he could show his staff. Since Owen
is in a funny stage right now with going to strangers (especially when
already tired & fussy), mommy decided that it would be best if I
walked him into the operating room as opposed to handing him off to
one of the doctors or nurses like previous surgeries. I just couldn’t
bear to see him cry as they took them away. So I got dressed in the
cap/scrubs the nurse handed to me and we both said good-bye to Daddy.
Poor “O” was looking all around, like where am I, where
are you taking me mommy? We got into the operating room where we met
Dr. Waner, his assistant, 2 nurses, and the anesthesiologist. I laid
Owen on the table and started to sing in his ear while they placed the
mask around his face and held him down as he fought them off. I don’t
know who was more upset- me or him. After about 2 minutes (which felt
like 20), he was out and a nurse walked me out to meet Daddy in the
We could hear Owen’s cry through the big glass door that led
to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit recovery area. We immediately went
to the window to get someone’s attention to let us in. We literally
ran over to Owen and tried to calm him down. He was very upset and also
very mad at anyone besides mommy & daddy who tried touching him-
he kept swatting at the nurses and trying to rip the monitor cord that
was attached to his toe. We were discharged about an hour or so later
and started to make our way back home through the miserable rain.
this whole process has now become somewhat routine, we so strongly agree
with Dr. Waner’s philosophy to operate as young as possible. Owen
is now 14 months old- he is more aware, and doesn’t understand
why he can’t eat or drink, or why he wakes up to strange people
around him and things plugged up to him.
Dr. Waner wants us to contact him in about 3 months. If the lip still
(yet again) remains the same, the final alternative solution is to use
a more advanced laser device called a YAG laser. The YAG penetrates
even more deeper into the tissue. Dr. Waner uses this as a last resort
because there is a higher risk of scarring with this machine. However,
he assured us that it takes a lot of skill and he has had lots of experience
using it, with great results. “The YAG will definitely clear it
for good,” Waner says.
Owen’s lip is pretty swollen; he has been a little fussy, sleeping
a lot and does not like things touching his face or lip (as expected).
But he is hanging in there pretty tough. So, after the holidays, we
will see how things look and take it from there. We don’t know
if this is the end, but we do know that we have one of the most, bravest,
strongest, and handsomest little fellows in the world.
Thank you to everyone who has followed our story this far and for your
concern & love,
Jan, Andrew & Owen