As part of the most popular reality series ever seen on cable, Duck Dynasty’s cast endeared themselves to millions of viewers. So fans will likely be shocked to hear that one of the show’s stars has heard some upsetting news from doctors.
The show, which ran for five years from 2012, followed the Robertson family’s lives in West Monroe, Louisiana. There, they manufacture items used by duck hunters. In particular, they hand-tune a duck call device known as the Duck Commander.
Duck Dynasty’s main characters were primarily the adults in the Robertson family. Phil, the patriarch of the clan, came up with the idea for the Duck Commander. His brother, Si, worked alongside him for years, crafting reeds for the devices.
The brothers starred on the show alongside Phil’s sons Jase, Willie and Jep. And they weren’t the only Robertsons to appear in the series. Since this was a family business, most of the clan took part in Duck Dynasty.
For instance, Jase’s wife, Missy Robertson, also starred as a main character in the series. The children she shares with Jase – Mia, Reed and Cole – occasionally appeared during the show’s first two seasons in recurring roles.
Mia is Jase and Missy’s first child, and the Robertsons have been open about their daughter’s journey to good health. When Mia came into the world in 2003, she had a bilateral cleft lip and palate.
Simply put, a cleft palate is a gap at the top of a baby’s mouth, which can lead to difficulties in everything from feeding and speaking to the growth of the child’s face. This congenital condition meant Mia required special treatment, as do all babies born with the syndrome.
First off, at only a few weeks of age, Mia needed a device fitted to fill in the top of her mouth. This made it easier for her family to feed her. Beforehand, the milk that she drank often came back out of her nose instead of going down her throat.
Aside from all the usual reasons, Mia also needed to eat, grow and regain her health because she’d have her first surgery a few weeks later to correct her cleft lip, which was also split. Mia’s mom, Missy, described how hard it was to see her baby’s wounds after that procedure had been completed.
Missy later wrote on the Mia Moo Fund’s website, “Jase and I were prepared to physically take care of our daughter, but we were not prepared emotionally as to how different she would look after this surgery. We had fallen in love with that sweet face for three months and were not prepared for the swelling and stitches that we saw in the recovery room.”
Nonetheless, the Robertsons soon realized that Mia was much better for having undergone the surgery. Plus, it helped prepare them for her next operation, which would take place when their daughter reached seven months of age. This one gave the baby a natural palate, so she no longer had to wear an appliance around the clock.
From there, the procedures became more and more sporadic. Mia’s next operation happened when she was five years old. This one focused on her lip, which hadn’t grown as it should have. During surgery, doctors realized that Mia’s nasal passages were caving in, so she was fitted with stints to fortify them.
Mia underwent another major procedure in 2014, although it had taken two years to prepare Mia’s palate for it. Doctors would put bone into the cleft, in order that her adult teeth could grow in properly. First, though, Mia had to wear an orthodontic contraption for more than a year. This was done to shift her jaw into the right position for surgery.
After her operation in January 2014 things had been quiet regarding Mia’s health. All in all, the young girl had undergone six surgeries by the time that Duck Dynasty’s ninth season aired in 2016. However, her mom had an update to share in the spring of 2018.
On May 8, 2018, Missy took to Twitter to tell fans some disheartening news. “After a long day of doctors’ appointments and travel, we heard good news and not-so-good news about Mia’s progress,” Missy wrote.
Although she didn’t go into detail, Missy stated that her daughter would have to undergo a further procedure. “Another surgery is scheduled for this summer,” she wrote, adding the hashtag “#BraveMia” to her tweet.
A 2016 study looked into the amount of operations that a cleft palate patient could expect to undergo before the age of 21. Those with bilateral cleft lip and palate, like Mia, had an average of ten operations to correct the condition.
But Mia likely took the news in her stride, as her mom said she’d done in the past. “Mia was born with a difficult challenge in her life. She has risen far above the expectations we had as parents. She has become an inspiration to so many,” Missy wrote on the Mia Moo Fund website.
In fact, the family created that fund in Mia’s honor to support others who had to go through the same litany of check-ups and surgical procedures. The Robertsons had always received an outpouring of love and positive energy from their fans when Mia went into surgery, so the family wanted to give others the same.
And, of course, this time around was no different. As soon as Missy tweeted about her daughter’s medical news, fans responded with plenty of positivity. This was typified by Taressa Herbst, who wrote to Missy, “You guys have raised a beautiful and strong young lady. My thoughts and prayers are with Miss Mia Moo and the entire Robertson family.”