Aza Petty's Cleft Palate Journey

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on March 1, 2018

Skyler and Aza Petty are sisters with a special bond that’s filled with contagious laughter.
 
One of their favorite pastimes is singing Karaoke. Meghan Trainor is one of their favorites.
 
With just five years difference in age, they take care of each other.
 
“It is great to see my kids get along as good as they do,” said Christina Petty. “We have been coming to Carilion since Aza was two days old. It’s great to have people still see you after all these years.”
 
Her first visit to Carilion, began ten years ago with her four-day stay in Carilion Children's neonatal intensive care unit.
 
In her short life, Aza has been through nine procedures.
 
“When you have to put your kid to sleep 9 times, it’s hard,” said Christina.
 
As her care continues, with each visit, she’s evaluated by specialists at Carilion Clinic’s Cleft and Craniofacial Center who take a patient-centered approach to her treatment.
 
“It is a wait and see game,” Christina explained. “It depends on how she grows, how she develops and just what they decide to do.”
 
From surgery discussions to speech therapy work, the goal of the cleft palate clinic is to keep kids on the best track possible for normal development.
 
“You get to visit new people every time you come here,” Aza added.
 
“I would not change her what-so-ever,” said Christina. “She is absolutely perfect. Sure, she may look different from any of the other children but she is absolutely perfect!”
 
We couldn’t agree more.