Sunday, October 12, 2008

Atresia/Microtia Conference California 2008

This weekend we were able to attend the Microtia/Atresia conference in Palo Alto, California organized by the "Let Them Hear Foundation". The conference consisted of two days. Saturday we spent the morning at the Four Seasons Hotel where we were able to listen to presentations given by some of best medical professionals in the field concerning Microtia and Atresia repair. Those that presented were Dr. Reinisch, Dr. Lewin, Dr. Brent, Dr. Choe, and Dr. Roberson. The purpose of the conference is to educate the families of the different surgery options that are available. They do an excellent job of giving us detailed information and as parents it really helps us in making an informed decision and trying to find out what will be best for Lauren. The following day each family was scheduled to meet briefly with any or all of the doctors from the conference. This was our first face to face meeting with many of them and it allowed us to ask questions specific to Lauren's situation. It also gave them an opportunity to evaluate her condition. All in all it was a great experience. It can be extremely overwhelming to see what lies ahead, but it is wonderful to have a resource like that and to have your questions answered. Although meeting with the doctors was helpful, the greatest part of the conference was meeting the other parents and children that attended. There were families from all over the world that attended. Even though we were only meeting each other for the first time, it didn't take long to build long lasting relationships with them. It is strengthing to meet other parents that have the same questions we have had and it was and incredible experience for Lauren to meet other children with the same condition. We are thankful for all the other parents and the support they provide in the group.