It’s a New Day: Part 3

It's a A New DayThis is part 3/3 of Taylor’s story. You’ll want to make sure you read,  It’s a New Day: Part 1 and Part 2 to get the entire story! Taylor has bravely agreed to share his story, and we at Children’s hope that his experience will help spread a better understanding of the hurt bullying can cause.

Shortly after Taylor turned 16, Cheryl brought him to Children’s. They had been coming to the hospital for his oncology checkups twice a year since he was 5, but not this time. Rather, they were meeting with Alex Kane, M.D., division director of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery, to see if the teen could finally have his nose repaired.

Almost expecting a negative answer, Cheryl could only get the words out for a simple question: “Can you help my son?” Dr. Kane responded with an equally simple answer: “I think he’s ready. Let’s do it.”

Taylor Pierre and Dr. Kane

Dr. Alex Kane and Taylor share a few laughs before the teen’s second of three surgeries.

Having performed complex plastic and craniofacial repairs on children for more than 20 years, Dr. Kane understood Taylor’s angst about his appearance and was eager to help. “High school is hard enough,” Dr. Kane says. “When you have a facial difference as apparent as Taylor’s, it’s hugely challenging and permeates your whole existence and self-concept.”

Taylor’s nose repair began last December and spanned three surgeries over several months. In the first procedure, Dr. Kane took a sliver of skin from Taylor’s forehead and attached it to where his left nostril used to be. The skin sliver, which remained attached to his forehead, would eventually become the skin for his new nostril.

In the second procedure, in January of this year, Dr.Kane took cartilage from one of Taylor’s ear bowls and inserted it into the new nose skin. In March, he finished Taylor’s surgical process by removing excess skin and sculpting the new skin and cartilage into a nostril.

Transformative Results

Taylor with his dog

What’s next? Taylor plans to work hard at school so he can get into a college with a good veterinary program.

A significant difference in Taylor, both physically and in his personality, was already apparent one day after the surgery.

“I  look handsome now,” the boy who barely spoke prior to the surgery said right before being discharged. “I was blown away by the surprise of seeing myself this morning. I just have a big load off of my shoulders.”

The new confidence and relief that Taylor felt that day only grew as he returned for the last couple of months of the school year. Instead of mocking or avoiding him, his schoolmates complimented him. “One of the teachers told me she couldn’t believe how much he had changed,” Cheryl says. “She said, ‘He actually smiles now.’ ”

This summer, for the first time in his life, Taylor eagerly waited for school to start again, even counting down the days. Now that classes have resumed, Taylor has his mind set on getting a prom date. “I’m excited for my junior year,” he says. “I get to do all the big stuff now.”

A difference is apparent in Cheryl, too, now that she finally gets to see her son happy again. “It has been a long, long wait,” she says. “The work that Dr. Kane and his team did is just outstanding. Now it’s about getting on with life and moving on with a much bigger smile.”

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2 Responses to It’s a New Day: Part 3

  1. Jordan Robinson November 7, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational story and for recognizing several of the clinicians for the extraordinary work that they do. Taylor is a brave adolescent and I wish him the very best going forward.

  2. Danielle Renfro November 6, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Here’s another wonderful example of why I love working at CMC. Thanks for sharing this amazing story. I want to say to Taylor, “Good Luck and Congratulations”!

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