Recent News from Florida Craniofacial Institute

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William Sivertsen, a 17-year old student at East Bay High School, recently delivered 30 cleft teddy bears to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Sivertsen was born with a unilateral cleft lip and underwent craniofacial surgery when he was just two days old. While the surgery repaired the facial abnormality, his early childhood was difficult due to the condition; he struggled to eat and gain weight, fell sick often, had two additional surgeries, and required speech therapy.

“I know the first few years were very challenging,” said Sivertsen. “I was very lucky to have a loving family and supportive schools, teachers and friends.” When Sivertsen turned three years old, he received a teddy bear with a cleft sewn above his lip, and always treasured the gift. When it came time for him to choose a project to attain his Eagle Scout Badge, he wanted to use his personal experience to help make a difference in the lives of others.

Dr. Pat Ricalde, Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at the hospital was on site to accept the teddy bear donation. “I am truly inspired by his gesture,” said Ricalde. “Coming from a teenage boy who fought this battle as a child and
came out on top is even more symbolic. He is a role model for these kids, and he is giving back to help them overcome their fears.”

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Local Scout Delivers Cleft Teddy Bears To Patients At St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital