USPS carrier successfully maneuvers health care nightmare for her newborn

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Josiah Burzynski with the Nasoalveolar Molding or NAM in place to shrink the gap in his lip and gums to prepare him for a more successful outcome to surgery. Josiah Burzynski with the Nasoalveolar Molding or NAM in place to shrink the gap in his lip and gums to prepare him for a more successful outcome to surgery.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP—Somers Point postal carrier Teri Burzynski, formerly of Egg Harbor Township and now living in Mays Landing has learned an awful lot in the past year. She gave birth to her son Josiah in September and with his birth came an education in pediatric health care that she had no clue about just a short time prior. An ultrasound at 20 weeks indicated her baby was going to be born with a cleft concern; the degree they would not discover until his birth.

When Josiah was born his at Shore Medical Center they found his cleft to be severe at 17 mm and he also has hyperinsulinism where is body produces too much insulin. The newborn was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he spent the next two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit and where Burzynski started to learn the ropes of being a new single mom and how to be an advocate for new son.

Dr. Kristen Low, a craniofacial orthodontist affiliated with CHOP started to lay out the plans for what would be necessary surgeries for the newborn to correct the lip. Surgery would take place in March to close the gap in the jaw and lip but a small appliance, Burzynski would learn just might give Josiah a much better chance at a more successful cosmetic outcome; a nasoalveolar molding or NAM.

Dr. Low explained that it would bring his lip and his gums closer together and help reshape his nose to be anatomically correct and symmetric. Burzynski said it seemed like the magic bullet but the insurance company called the appliance a cosmetic device and did not want to cover the cost.

Burzynski never gave up fighting for the best outcome for Josiah. The result; she got the NAM for him and it closed the gap in his lip and gums down to 4 mm by the time of his March 2014 surgery date thus giving much better odds for a more successful outcome. 

His next surgery will be to close the roof of his mouth and create a palate as he was born without one. According to Burzynski, her son does not have the sniffles like so many other children; for him it is more like a drool. Eating is difficult but surgery is just a month away and that should change.

He is getting early intervention for speech and Josiah has a team of people who work with him on eating but once they close up the palette it should get much easier and more comfortable for him, according to his mother.  To close the palette Burzynski said they will make an incision on the right and left side of his mouth to help release the muscle and use a bone graft to create a palette. 

Burzynski said it was a very difficult time prior to Josiah’s birth knowing there would be a cleft concern and not knowing the severity. Josiah has many surgeries in his future but the NAM laid the groundwork to a successful outcome. “I don’t know the numbers or how many children are born with this problem but I want parents who may find themselves facing the same issue to know there is something that can help their child if they are born with a cleft lip and palette achieve a successful outcome. The NAM made all the difference in the world for my son and whatever his surgeries are in the future he is already so improved and every child deserves that start,” said Burzynski. 

Josiah Burzynski had a rough start but life is more fun every day. Here he is at 9 months playing at home. Josiah Burzynski had a rough start but life is more fun every day. Here he is at 9 months playing at home.

After several surgeries to make the repair to his cleft lip Josiah Burzynski is a playful little guy full of giggles. After several surgeries to make the repair to his cleft lip Josiah Burzynski is a playful little guy full of giggles.


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