So on Friday last week Andrew woke up and couldn't talk properly and when he tried to drink, the milk came out his nose.
I took him to the doctor, who consulted another doctor and rang an expert, and the general consensus was "very unusual". There seems to be something wrong with Andrew's soft palate (palate insufficiency/incompetence/inadequacy - the terms seem to be fairly interchangeable) as it is not doing its job of closing off the back of the nose during speech and swallowing. He's otherwise healthy, mostly over the last cold, and in no discomfort. Andrew can't whistle, as when he blows the air comes out his nose as well as his mouth. For speech, he can only manage "m", "n" and "ng" sounds as well as vowels, the rest of the consonants are gone. Over the last few days he's managed to produce very faint "t", "g" and "k" sounds but I'm not sure if it's an indication of his palate improving, or him adapting to produce the sounds some other way. I suspect the latter as he pulls faces while enunciating. If he holds his nose he can talk but is still hard to understand, and can't speak loudly. He can drink but only in sips or it comes out his nose. Eating is fine. In typical Andrew fashion, he hasn't let it slow him down, or get him down; he's still in pretty good spirits.
So we are waiting for a letter from the hospital so we can take him in for an expert opinion. I've had a look around on the internet but most of the information is concerned with the problems associated with cleft palate and fixing it surgically. There doesn't seem to be much about what could cause it in a previously healthy (apart from the colds/flu we've all had this winter) 8-year-old, or whether it will go away by itself. I did find one thing about a child who had it and it "resolved spontaneously" after a month, but nothing about cause or treatment. So, apart from making sure he has enough to drink, we just have to wait...
Prayer would be appreciated, especially that it won't be permanent. Thanks :)