Chesterfield | Services: Center for Craniofacial Care
Specialists at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) have been following seven-year-old Heavenli Hill since she was born in order to manage her Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare congenital disorder that causes a variety of craniofacial irregularities including a small lower jaw, abnormal ears, and underdeveloped cheekbones.
Heavenli required a tracheotomy to assist with breathing until the team at CHoR's Center for Craniofacial Care performed a complex procedure to expand her jaw and increase the size of her airway. Breathing independently was a huge positive change for Heavenli and her entire family, reducing the amount of nursing support they required and allowing her to improve her speech and attend school unassisted. Additional reconstructive work will be performed over the years as Heavenli grows.
"She's not shy at all," says Carolyn Stump, Heavenli's grandmother. "She loves school and just finished first grade as an honor student. When she grows up she wants to be a doctor, teacher or hair stylist. I tell her she can be anything she wants to be."