Posted: Jan 31, 2013 7:39 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Jan 31, 2013 10:42 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Tonight we bring you a heart warming story of baby girl who was born with a cleft lip and palette. thanks to surgeons, she is making a rapid recovery, but her journey is far from over.
Now, with the help of total strangers, 7 month old, Mykayla Pineda has a bright future ahead of her, despite the obstacles she still has to overcome.
Mykayla Renee Pineda was born on June 14th, 2012, but her birth wasn't as easy as most. At only 1 pound, 11 ounces, Mykayla was born much too small.
"I mean her head wasn't even as big as the palm of my hand," said mother, Monique Pineda.
But that wasn't all, you see, Mykayala was born with a cleft lip and cleft palette, this picture was taken only moments after she was born. In it, you can see that the left part of her lip and her left nostril are missing.
It's something no parent wants for their newborn.
"Regardless of the severity of it, I mean it still...it takes you back," said father, John Pineda.
But the Pineda's quickly learned to love their daughter's smile, that is until a surgeon at Driscoll Children's Hospital told them Mykayla's palette had to be fixed.
"We were happy, but at the same time, I was really sad to see that smile go, because I got so used to it," Monique said.
On January 11th of this year, Mykayla went into surgery and came out with a brand new smile.
But even though she looks better, Mykayla still has more obstacles to overcome. With her cleft palette still affecting her mouth and throat, Mykayla's parent's sometimes have trouble feeding her.
"Even as she's getting older, it doesn't make it any easier. She tends to choke every once in a while when she drinks too fast," John said.
And with her next surgery in May and years of speech therapy when she begins to talk, the strain is taking it's toll on the parents.
John told me, "Emotionally, financially, things have gotten a little tight for us. But it is what it is and we're going to make due with what we got."
Which is why they were so surprised when a total stranger contacted them after hearing little Mykayla's story,
wanting to throw a benefit for the baby girl.
"The way things go in the world, you read all the bad stuff, there is a lot of great people in the world. And I'm blessed to have so many friends and family," said John.
The BBQ benefit will be on Sunday, February 24th and every single penny earned will go toward helping this little girl create a brand new smile, all her own.
If you want to know more about the benefit or want to volunteer to help out, you can visit the benefit's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/360475097383516/.
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