After 11 surgeries in 11 years of life, no one can say Montana George has had it easy, yet he is a happy, fun-loving little boy. Born in 2005, doctors knew before he came into this world that he had three congenital heart defects and a cleft lip and cleft palate.

After 11 surgeries in 11 years of life, no one can say Montana George has had it easy, yet he is a happy, fun-loving little boy. Born in 2005, doctors knew before he came into this world that he had three congenital heart defects and a cleft lip and cleft palate.

Montana, a Camdenton resident with his family, has a long medical history in his young life, eating through a feeding tube and undergoing three open heart surgeries by age two.

Originally from North Carolina, Montana and his two brothers live with their uncle and aunt, but they are sons to Desmond and Kristin Biddle along with their four biological children.

Going through Camden County Developmental Disability Resources for support, CCDDR’s description of his condition explains, “He presents with a complex medical history including stroke during infancy, mitochondrial DNA mutation, bilateral cleft lip/palate s/p repair, hypoplastic aortic arch/horseshoe kidney, FTT, developmental delays, GER, and Gtube dependency. Surgical history is extensive and includes: VSD/ASD closure and repair of hypoplastic arch, balloon angioplasty of narrowing in aorta, Gtube (2 separate placements, one during infancy and another at 9 years of age), bilateral cleft lip repair, resection of subaortic stenosis, PE tube placement, and left iliac bone graft, Right iliac bone graft”.

A long list of diagnoses for a boy.

Nonetheless, Montana is like many other 11-year-old boys and loves being outside, according to Kristin. And becoming a true Laker, he has come to love the water.

“He used to get scared near water but he went to Camp Wonderland [an educational camp for children, teens and adults with disabilities located in Rocky Mount] last year and since going there he has come to love being in the water,” Kristin says.

Other likes include stuffed animals, writing letters and drawing pictures and coloring.

“He loves receiving mail. He writes to pen pals and draws them pictures,” says Kristin.

Montana also loves spending time with his family. He’s not always very social outside his family, though. Though he’s had some repairs with the cleft lip and palate, he gets frustrated because he knows people have a hard time understanding him. It upsets him when people can’t understand what he’s saying, says Kristin.

For all that, Montana is happy and smiles a lot, she adds, a beautiful, beaming smile.

Now after seven years of complaining about his right leg hurting, Kristin says a blockage was recently discovered in the artery of that leg. On Feb. 6, he will head to Minnesota for vascular bypass surgery on Feb. 9.

Because of his young age, the only place that would do the surgery was the Mayo Clinic. Desmond and Kristin will be staying there with Montana through recovery.

“We don’t have any idea how long we will be there after surgery. The only thing we are being told is to plan on being there for at least a week. We will be there for four days before surgery because he has to do testing,” according to Kristin.

In the meantime, Kristin’s aunt will be staying in Camdenton with the Biddle’s six other children.

But with the surgery as with the others comes hope of improved quality of life.

“We are hoping with this surgery his leg can start growing even again and we are hoping it will reduce his pain in that leg. We know he won’t get all his growth back in that leg but it will at least keep the leg alive and healthy with blood flowing to it again,” says Kristin.

The Biddles moved to the area from North Carolina in 2014 and are in the process of adopting Montana and his brothers who were born to Desmond’s sister who lost custody of them over four years ago due to medical neglect. Kristin is originally from Kansas City and has an uncle and aunt here.

The situation can be very stressful, says Kristin, but overall life in the Lake area has been good to the Biddles, offering a fresh start in a supportive place.

Desmond is the main provider for the family, working for Complete Stucco for the last year and a half. Desmond having an understanding boss has been huge, according to Kristin who says they have been supportive.

With all the medical appointments - she goes to Columbia a couple of times a week — it is hard for Kristin to hold a full time job outside the home, so she does in-home childcare.

For the latest surgery, Desmond will miss work for at least a week.

“Every dollar will help us with medical traveling expenses and help with bills as me and my husband will both miss work for at least a week,” says Kristin.

For more information on the bowling tournament, you can contact Kristin Biddle at 573-525-1873.

Donating or not, she asks people to please send prayers for their son.