CLEVELAND – A family from Akron, OH is opening up about the major skull surgery their daughter had as a baby.
“She’s been great throughout the whole process,” said Bethany Misko, Charlotte’s mother.
She said when Charlotte was born, she came out breech, which caused her head to become misshapen.
“Her skull shape was essentially a cone shape, where a normal head is more round,” explained Charlotte’s father, Zeb Misko.
They were told at the time that the shape would improve on its own, but that never happened. So, they took her to Cleveland Clinic for testing and discovered she had sagittal craniosynostosis.
The very same condition Zeb had when he was born.
“The skull grows through sutures that are the exact lines you can see on an old skull, and sometimes one of these sutures will fuse prematurely and that will cause a head deformity and that is what she had,” said Bahar Bassiri Gharb, MD, PhD, Director of Plastic Surgery Research and Co-Director of the Craniofacial Program for Cleveland Clinic.
Bethany said they weren’t entirely surprised by the diagnosis given Zeb’s medical history, but what did shock them was that the condition isn’t genetic.
“I think it was always something in the very back of our mind,” she said. “The genetics would have helped us have some kind of insight but it really just left us with more questions than answers.”
After talking it over, the couple decided it would be best for Charlotte to undergo the same surgery Zeb had when he was a baby. It’s called total cranial vault reconstruction.
“Our plan when we do this procedure is to shorten the front-to-back diameter and then expand the skull sideways, so the head looks a bit more round than it is,” said Dr. Bassiri.
Charlotte spent a couple of days in the hospital before going home. Now she’s making leaps and bounds in her recovery and just celebrated her first birthday.
“She’s crawling everywhere at the speed of light and she’s starting to walk along furniture and everything, so definitely happy to see the progress and everything in such a short amount of time,” said Zeb.
Charlotte will continue to be monitored by doctors to ensure she’s progressing like she should.