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At 23 weeks gestation, Holli Boarman received news about her unborn son that she was not expecting. “An ultrasound revealed that he had a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate,” Holli said. “It was a bit of a shock. We felt guilt, worry, fear, anxiety and doubt. We had so many questions.”

Tate was born on September 7th, 2016, and his life began with struggles and challenges. “He was born with a 15mm gap in the top lip and roof of his mouth on the right side,” said Holli. “We watched him struggle to eat and we questioned making the right decisions or not.”

Tate would go through ongoing surgeries along with speech therapy as he grew older. “The hardest moments were when we saw him choking because of the palate and when we had to give him up for surgeries. The best moments were when we could hear him creating suction and when he truly started living a normal life!”

Today, Tate is 3 years old. He loves baseball, the Cardinals and the TV show Cops!

“The care we received at St. John’s was exceptional! We will always be thankful for the amazing caregivers at St. John’s!