Children's Hospital

Tuesday, 27 July 2010, 7:30PM – 8:00PM on ITV1

Episode Ten: Freya Moogan

At the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, 11 year old Freya Moogan is having a final check up before facing surgery for the fourth time.

Freya was born with a cleft lip and palate, which is a condition in which the lips, jaw and roof of the mouth don’t grow together while the baby is developing in the womb. It has affected Freya in many different ways, including her speech and hearing. Today, she will have a final check before an operation to fill the hole in her jaw with bone taken from her hip; without the operation, her adult teeth won’t be able to grow properly.

Part of a 24-strong team, Professor Bill Shaw is the orthodontist who has treated Freya since she was a baby. He says: “Very few people know what a child with a cleft lip and palate goes through ��” these are not trivial operations”. Freya confesses to “feeling nervous and excited ��” I just hope this will be the last one”.

In the dedicated children’s A&E department, doctors treat approximately ten dog bites every month. A week ago, four year old CJ was bitten on the face by the family pet. He needed surgery and has returned today to have the stitches removed. One of the hospital’s team of dedicated play specialists, Gill Bailey is brought in to help relax and distract CJ during the procedure. Also being treated today are 18 month Oliver who is brought in with burns after pouring hot tea over his arm and face; and 12 year old Victoria who has broken her wrist.

Around one in 600 children are born with a cleft lip and palate in the UK; today Freya’s surgeon Marie Morton, who has been treating children with the condition for 20 years, will remove a piece of bone from Freya’s hip to fill the hole in her jaw. After a hug and a few tears with mum Annalisa Moogan, Freya is taken to the operating theatre. Annalisa says: “You’d think it would be easier when they are older, but in some ways it’s harder because they understand more”.

During surgery, there is a setback when Miss Morton discovers a large hole between Freya’s mouth and nose; she has to stitch up the hole before the new bone can be inserted in order to reduce the risk of infection. The operation continues successfully and the ordeal is over for Freya. She will now be monitored for two weeks before she discovers whether her dream ��” of a normal life with no more surgery ��” will finally come true.

Series producer: Tanya Cohen
Executive producer: Mark Downie

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