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Gabee & PK B.

Gabriale is in 2nd grade and a fantastic reader. She enjoys playing soccer and cheerleading. She loves to sing and dance. She has a unique
hobby…collecting soda tabs for Ronald McDonald House! Gabriale was 6 months old when she was diagnosed with metopic suture fusion. Metopic suture fusion is pre mature fusion of the suture in the forehead
and extra bone is deposited.  She was 8 months old for her first corrective surgery. This was the scariest day of my life!  Knowing that my child was going have major surgery was very hard to accept. This surgery lasted about 5 hours and we were in the PICU for 4 days and on the floor for 3 days. I was not prepared to see her in recovery even though I had seen pictures of how she would look afterward. Her head was wrapped up and her face was already starting to swell. Two days after surgery was the peak for swelling and her eyelids had turned inside out. She looked nothing like the child I had seen just a couple of days before. Gradually, she started looking more and more normal. Gabriale’s second surgery was at age 2 1/2. She had started growing too much bone again on her forehead and surgery was necessary. We found out at this appointment that she has two holes (one above each ear) about the size of half dollars that had not healed from the first surgery. Dr. Kelly recommended to wait until about the age of 5 before we recheck these areas. This surgery required 7 days in the hospital. The swelling was not as bad this time but very heart breaking  to say the least.Gabriale’s third surgery was at age 5. The holes had not healed as expected and we were scheduled in October 2011. This was a huge surgery. Dr. Kelly had to remove rib #6 on her left side to transplant into her head. She now has titanium plates and screws holding everything together. This surgery required 4 days in the hospital and swelling was very minimal.  So far she has recovered remarkably and is a very smart 8 year old.

PK is now in Kindergarten and doing very well. She is learning her ABC’s and how to count to 10. She loves to sing, dance and ride her scooter and bicycle. She loves anything with Hello Kitty on it. PK was diagnosed at age 6 months with metopic suture fusion. Her first surgery was at age 10 months. Again, this surgery was about 5 hours and we spent 4 days in the PICU and 5 days on the floor. Her swelling was was about the same as Gabriale’s first surgery but her eyelids did not swell as much.  So far she hasn’t needed another surgery but we are on watch and wait. Her skull has started pinching around the temple area and her eye sockets are not forming exactly like they should form.

Some people ask me how I get through all of the surgeries without
breaking to pieces. I tell them it is not easy but I refuse to let myself get down
about it. I know both my girls are in very good and caring hands with everyone at
Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.