Book Appointment Online with select physicians.
Request Appointment Online to schedule with one of our coordinators.
1.888.IUHEALTH for
Same-Day Primary Care Appointments.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Nate is just nine years old but is already becoming bilingual in English and Mandarin. Nate also takes Tae Kwon Do lessons and is able to compete and excel with no restrictions in a sport he loves. His mother, Tiffaney, is not only impressed with her son’s educational and recreational progress, but with what a normal third grade boy he is.

When Tiffaney and Jeffrey Foster decided to give their five-year-old daughter, Claire, a sibling it took 13 months of adoption proceedings before the Fosters learned they were receiving a son, Nathaniel, from China. Nate was on an international adoption list for children with special needs, due to his cleft lip and palate. Shortly after Nate’s fourth birthday, the Fosters travelled to China to bring him home to Indiana. The Fosters’ travel mates, who were adopting their second child from China, both worked in medicine for IU Health (one a pediatric cardiologist at Riley at IU Health, the other an attending physician) and suggested the Fosters see Dr. Havlik to help repair Nate’s anomalies.

Nate had undergone cleft palate repair surgery while in adoptive service’s custody, but Dr. Havlik determined Nate would need surgery to revise his cleft lip and a complete rhinoplasty to correct the form of his nose. Nate will require additional surgeries, but is currently in a “holding pattern” with his orthodontist, dentist and Dr. Havlik, waiting to have further development of his permanent teeth. Nate’s multi-specialty team, including his orthodontist and dentist who practice outside of Riley at IU Health, work seamlessly with Dr. Havlik ensuring Nate’s comprehensive care and reassuring his parents who appreciate the attentive, personalized team designed to care for Nate.

“We are pleased Nate could benefit from both our medical and camp programs," Dr. Robert Havlik said of Nate's progress. "We expect that he will continue to have a great outcome from his treatment.”

In addition to learning Mandarin and Tae Kwon Do, Nate does all the same activities as his classmates. Nate also attends the About Face week-long retreat for Riley at IU Health Cleft and Craniofacial patients. “[It] was the best thing we’ve ever done for him,” Tiffaney says on the choice to send him to camp. “I cannot say enough about the staff, the kids and how they treat each other and how it makes kids love themselves. It is something we will participate in every year, without a question.” Camp About Face and Nate’s care team continue to work with the Fosters, and Tiffaney says they “could not have been more fortunate”.

Viewing all stories in…

Related Patient Stories

Falling on Deaf Ears: How Riley Helped One Little Girl Hear

“I remember her dad telling me that Kyrie’s favorite song came on the radio while they were driving shortly after her implants had been activated and he was nervous about what Kyrie would think about it,” says Katie Jones, an audiologist at Riley. “Adults with cochlear implants have said that music doesn’t sound like what they remembered before they lost their hearing.” Kyrie liked what she heard. She smiled ear to ear and started dancing along in her seat.

Read the Story

She Fought Back From A Near-Fatal Infection

Alayna Stroup, 17, was a medical mystery. How did she go from swimming in her high school sectional just weeks before to a hospital bed, hanging on to life?

Read the Story

Body cast can’t keep 5-year-old from dancing

Josslyn McClure, 5, is a spirited red-head who is always on the go, her mom says. Diagnosed with infantile scoliosis after she was born, Josslyn has been wearing a cast on her torso for more than a year to correct a severe curve in her spine.

Read the Story

Viewing all stories in…

Learn About Cleft Lip & Palate