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Sharing Preston’s Abilities

Preston is a charismatic and curious 10 year old. When he walks into the room, you know it – his presence is felt by all through his contagious smile, cheeky sense of humor and natural ability to entertain.

Preston was born with hemifacial microsomia, a condition in which one side of the face is underdeveloped and affects his ear and jaw structure. This condition not only affects his physical appearance but also requires him to use a hearing aid.

Last year, Preston underwent a 7-hour surgery where a pinky-length rib bone was grafted to the lower right side of his face. The day before Preston’s life-changing surgery, his mother Jessica was informed that insurance would not cover the surgery as it is considered cosmetic. Frantically, she called the Children’s Miracle Network hospital where Preston was to have surgery, and was told not to worry, the costs would indeed be covered. Due to generous donations through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Preston was able to have his surgery.

This surgery greatly improved Preston’s quality of life; not only did this surgery impact Preston’s physical appearance, but his speech has greatly improved and he is now able to be speak clearly and be understood. Preston will never gain hearing on his right side, however he is also able to continue his speech and hearing services at the hospital through his 24th birthday.

Jessica works at Rite Aid #5317 in Kennewick, WA, and loves being a part of a company that raises funds for 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals across North America. She particularly enjoys going to work every single day, sharing her son’s journey with her customers, and inviting them to contribute to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals campaign. Jessica sees this annual campaign as a way of paying it forward and providing the same help her son received to thousands of other kids.

“Preston has always received some questionable looks from people and we respond to it as an educational experience,” Jessica said. “We don’t hide him away with his disability – we share his abilities!”