Eight-month old Noor Mustafa will be the focus of Akron Children’s Hospital’s Twitter feed Wednesday when the hospital does live tweets of her second cleft palate surgery.
“The main goal of following this surgery is to provide an educational resource for families with children newly diagnosed with cleft palates,” said Jim Arnold, web analytic manager for Akron Children’s Hospital. “We are deeply grateful to the Mustafa family for allowing us to follow their child through her journey with cleft palate. Noor’s cleft palate and the treatment plan to close it are very typical of what most families would experience with their own children.”
Noor’s palate will be closed in an operation that will span a few hours.
“In spite of our best efforts, this type of operation is only about 80 percent to 90 percent successful depending on how bad the cleft is,” said Dr. Ananth Murthy, director of Akron Children’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center. “Around 18 months of age, we evaluate the patient to see where she is with her speech and language development. Around 3 or 4 years of age, we’re able to tell if this operation is successful or not. If she appears to have nasal sounding speech then, she will need some diagnostic tests and quite possibly surgical correction to decrease that air loss through the nose.”
About five months ago when she was almost 3 months old, she had an appliance placed in her mouth that helped line up her gum line and lips.
To view the tweets while the surgery is in progress, follow @akronchildrens, which will use different hashtags throughout the surgery including #cleftpalate.
“We will be directing the tweets to our blog, insidechildrens.org, where pictures, audio from Dr. Murthy and detailed descriptions of the surgical procedure will be posted,” Arnold said. “Long after the Twitter event is over, the coverage of Noor’s surgeries will be available on our blog for families interested in learning more about our treatment plan for cleft palate.”
Tweets made during the surgery will be written by Arnold, Laurie Schueler, media relations specialist, and Lew Stamp, freelance photographer.
People are encouraged to ask questions on Twitter that will be answered during or immediately after the surgery.
Camp for students
Area eighth-graders are invited to apply to experience life as health professions students during a three-day immersion experience at Northeast Ohio Medical University, or NEOMED.
There are 50 openings in this year’s MEDCAMP program, which runs July 17-19 and is designed to provide experience in bio-medical science workshops involving research, clinical problem-solving and an introduction to the fields of clinical medicine and pharmacy.
Meals are provided. Students are taken by bus to a Kent State University dormitory for overnight accommodations.
The cost of the program is $125 and tuition waivers are available for eligible students.
More information about MEDCAMP and applications can be found online at www.neomed.edu/academics/ahec/medcamp or by calling 330-325-6584. Applications are due April 18.
Families who have a loved one with a mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression are being offered a Family-to-Family Education Course. The 12-week-long course will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. every Thursday beginning April 10.
The free course at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2551 Middlebranch Road NE in Canton, is taught by members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness who have completed an instructor program.
There is no fee but pre-registration is required. Call 330 455-6264.
Interfaith Caregivers Program is offering a free training event for current and prospective caregivers from 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the program offices inside Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 50 N. Prospect St., Akron.
Speakers will talk about tips for finding available resources, keeping in touch with spirituality and avoiding back injuries.
For more information or to register, contact Sandy Alexander at 330-922-1900 by Wednesday.
Katie Nix may be contacted at email@example.com.