Permanent scars, regardless if they’re inside or outside, can happen to anyone and if they unfortunately happen, we learn how to live with them every single day. A scar in the form of zigzag across the scalp speaks of a five-year-old’s battle for survival. One young boy had to endure two difficult surgeries only to leave him with scars that will stay are a reminder forever. His battle was strong, and so were his parents. Leo is a real hero.
When his mother Georgia was twenty weeks into her pregnancy, the doctors noticed Leo’s head was a bit larger than it should be. Later on, when he was born, he was checked by a pediatrician and they discharged him from the hospital. His mother, however, became concerned that he wasn’t meeting his key milestones, such as sitting up unaided. Georgia was persistent, and doctors eventually diagnosed him with sagittal craniosynostosis. An operation of the then seven-month-old followed. The nine-hour surgery was conducted in the city of Birmingham in the UK.
What is sagittal craniosynostosis?
Sagittal craniosynostosis is a condition occurring when plates of the skull fuse earlier than they should. It might be genetic or due to womb position, but the real causes are unknown. The usual signs are an unusually-shaped skull, a strong forehead and prominent back of head. t can lead to complications such as raised brain pressure, as well as delayed speech and language development. The treatment involves reshaping the skull within the first few months of life. Then the person could lead a normal life.
Source: Great Ormond Street Hospital
“I’m so proud of him. I look at him every day and I’m thankful he’s here. Things could have gone a completely different way. I’m just pleased I kept on and on to my health professional that there was something wrong with him, “Leo’s mother Georgia said after the operation:
“They basically took every bit of his skull out, cut it all up into pieces, put holes and slits in it and put it back together. It was an awful thing for my first child to go through,” Georgia added.
It was a traumatic period, but doctors believed that without surgery, Leo would have gone blind or suffered severe brain damage. Then, two years after the first operation, scans revealed Leo was experiencing swelling of the optic nerve. He had to have a second operation, which involved inserting screws into the side of his head that his mother had to twist every day.
Georgia said: ‘This time, instead of taking the skull out they inserted two sliders on each side of his skull. It was then my job to turn these sliders with a special key – once in the morning and once in the night – to relieve any press on his brain.’
That’s what this brave mother did for 28 days before the sliders were taken out. Luckily, both operations were successful and Leo is now making ‘amazing progress’.
Although he has a scar on his skull, he is doing well and seems happier than ever!