When Norah Matchett was three years old, she was adopted from an orphanage in India. Her parents, Marie and Erik, brought her home to Charter Settlement, NB knowing the IWK would become part of their lives.
Norah was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, a common birth defect where splits occur in the upper lip and the roof of the mouth that require surgical repair. She also has some challenges with her hearing and speech.
While in India, Norah received surgery to help repair her bilateral cleft palate, but she would require additional surgery. During her initial visits to the IWK, Norah would appear terrified and cry. It became clear she had a deep fear of hospitals.
“It’s very difficult to provide medical care for a child who is in so much distress, but the IWK team was amazing!” says Norah’s mom, Marie. “They did everything they could to help her feel comfortable. They even let her take a breathing mask home to practice wearing it before her next surgery.”
During her surgery, Norah did excellently and has since been given the affectionate name of ‘Big Brave Norah’—a name that fits her perfectly!
Later this year Norah will require dental surgery to rebuild her gum line. She will also likely need to have her pharynx (throat) repaired to allow her to breathe through her mouth, as well as her nose.