A YOUNG boy who underwent a serious operation as a baby is hoping his piggy bank will benefit five years down the line.

Leland Venn-Jones, aged five, has come on in leaps and bounds since surgery to correct a cleft lip and alveolus (gum).

His surgeon was impressed with Leland's progress at a recent check up, although he will need a further operation in the future.

His mum, Kirsty, said: "He has now started school and is doing really great making lots of new friends and becoming a whizz at reading.

"Leland was very excited to learn that he has got two extra teeth in the gum notches that his cleft left him with - he's hoping he might get extra from the tooth fairy when these fall out.

"There is a possibility that these extra baby teeth may be followed by extra adult ones, but they will be removed during the next surgery.

"We have had confirmation now that he will definitely need to have bone grafting surgery in his gum, but that won't be for another four to six years yet when he is nine to 11-years-old.

"He will need to go and have X-rays and a gum line assessment at seven years of age, but until then they are happy for him to carry on as normal.

"But for the moment, he's happy, healthy and almost six. If you didn't know that he was born with a bilateral cleft lip, then you wouldn't have thought any different."

Leland was operated on at Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol in July 2012 to help him lad a normal life.

Somerset County Gazette: Baby undergoes cleft lip surgery

Leland before the operation with parents Andrew and Kirsty.

Mrs Venn-Jones, of Lambrook Road, Taunton, who had been informed her son had an abnormality at her 20-week scan, said she had been indebted to the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA), which supports the families of the one in 700 UK babies born with the condition.

Following the success of Leland's operation in 2012, she was able to ease the fears of another mother whose baby was born with the same problem.

Somerset County Gazette:

Leland after the operation with his parents.