A Boy, A Team, And A Success

Nothing inspires people to do their best — to go the extra mile — like a child who needs them.

When their soon-to-be-adopted son was 20 weeks in utero, Sara and Dennis Beck of Kimball learned from perinatologists that he would face considerable medical challenges.

“We didn’t know everything about his condition, including whether or not he had a cleft palate, but figured we’d learn more about it after he was born,” Sara said.

“We wanted to adopt him no matter what.”

Dr. Yang and GeorgeIn January 2012, George was born with DiGeorge syndrome, a disorder caused when a small part of chromosome 22 is missing.

It affects the development of several body systems and may cause congenital heart problems, specific facial features, cleft lip and/or palate, developmental delays and a compromised immune system.

Unlike other disorders that might require the dedicated care of just one or two disciplines, George required care from numerous specialties at CentraCare.

The collaborative manner in which these areas worked together — along with the partnership created between the hospital and George’s family — were critical factors in a successful outcome.

Since many of George’s challenges stemmed from his cleft palate, he was referred to the Cleft Center, where coordinated efforts ensured he received care from multiple specialists including pediatric cardiologists, audiologists, ear, nose and throat specialists, speech and language pathologists, pediatric dentists, plastic surgeons for repair of facial deformities, occupational and physical therapists and dietitians.

“We quickly learned to place our trust in CentraCare and the various specialists we saw,” Sara said. “They made our world so much better the first year.” It’s all led to great success, with George living as close to a normal life as possible.

The Beck Family“The communication between different departments at CentraCare has been so smooth,” Sara said.

“They’ve also gone the extra mile to facilitate services in the community, such as the speech therapist connecting with the school speech teacher to ensure collaboration.”

George’s development has also been aided by having a younger brother, James.

“They pushed each other to learn to walk faster and do other things kids do more quickly,” Sara said. “We’re blessed to have both of them encouraging each other.”

In addition to the high-quality care George has received from so many areas of CentraCare, he’s also been a beneficiary of the CentraCare Health Foundation. The Foundation has helped George’s family apply for additional resources to help cover costs not covered by insurance.

“When you’ve never dealt with any of this, you don’t understand how the system works,” Sara said. “All of the staff at CentraCare has made sure that George could receive the best care possible.”

That care helped George to go to kindergarten with his brother last year. He runs and bikes around the yard like any other 6-year-old.

“George is the most happy-go-lucky and relaxed kid I’ve ever met,” Sara said. “With all that he’s been through, he can teach us a lot with his attitude.”