• By Laurel Kelly

Sharing Mayo Clinic: The wide, wonderful smiles of a Warrior Princess

December 29, 2019
Sharing Mayo Clinic patient Everly Winkowski

For Rebecca and J Winkowski, learning that their daughter, Everly, would be born with a cleft lip and palate was an unexpected and unnerving discovery. But after meeting a compassionate team of Mayo Clinic physicians committed to Everly's care, those feelings of anxiety and apprehension quickly vanished.


Rebecca and J Winkowski have several nicknames for their 1-year-old, Everly. Babyzilla, because she gets into everything, is one of them. Another term of endearment the Millville, Minnesota, residents have for their youngest child is Warrior Princess for the many medical challenges she's faced since birth.

Affected by cleft lip and cleft palate, Everly's condition was discovered in utero. Just one week after entering the world on Oct. 1, 2018, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, she began wearing an orthodontic device to reshape her gums and lips. At 3 months old, Everly underwent her first facial surgery and, eight months later, underwent a second.

Read the rest of Everly's story.

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This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.

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