Christian Buchanan’s life is a profound story of resilience and inspiration. Born with Tessier cleft lip and palate, an extremely rare condition resulting from the improper joining of facial tissues during development, Christian’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable.

This unique condition, documented only 60 times in medical history, left Christian from Woodbury, Tennessee, with significant challenges. He was born completely blind, with substantial gaps in his face, affecting his ability to eat and speak. Despite these hurdles, Christian’s spirit and zest for life have never waned.

Christian’s condition, caused by amniotic banding syndrome, occurs when fibrous bands in the womb attach to the baby, hindering blood flow. For Christian, these bands affected his facial development. However, his spirit remains unbroken despite the challenges he faces daily due to his condition.

Since birth, Christian has relied on a feeding tube for nourishment, a necessity due to the clefts in his face. His vision impairment, a significant aspect of his condition, has not deterred him from embracing life with enthusiasm. Christian’s daily life involves adapting to a world designed primarily for the sighted, a challenge he meets with remarkable fortitude.

Christian’s mother, Lacey, has been a pillar of support, guiding and encouraging him as he navigates his unique path. She shares that despite his condition, Christian enjoys activities any six-year-old would love, from wrestling with his brother to playing with Lego and learning karate.

Christian’s education is tailored to his needs; he is home-schooled and attends the Special Kids Therapy & Nursing Center. Here, he learns everything from dressing himself to enhancing his speech. His occupational therapy focuses on developing independence, a skill he has embraced with determination.

Despite undergoing seven surgeries, including three to reconstruct his face and improve his ability to eat and speak, Christian’s journey is ongoing. Lacey anticipates more surgeries in the future, but remains optimistic about her son’s resilience.

The social stigma associated with looking different has been a challenge for Christian and his family. Lacey recalls instances where people’s reactions to Christian’s appearance were hurtful. Yet, they handle such situations with positivity, educating others about Christian’s condition and emphasizing his uniqueness.

Christian, a violin enthusiast working towards an orange belt in karate, exemplifies independence and self-confidence. Lacey describes him as a child who insists on doing things by himself, a testament to his growing independence.

Christian’s response to curious or insensitive comments is empowering. He confidently says, “That’s just how God made me. I was born this way, and I was born awesome,” a phrase that encapsulates his indomitable spirit.

Christian’s story is not just about overcoming physical challenges but also about breaking down barriers and changing perceptions about differences. His journey is a beacon of hope and a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

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