By Mollie Tracey
Real life Humpty Dumpty – Adorable tot has had her head wired back together again after undergoing a major operation to rebuild her skull.
Hanna Bowran-Pavey, 39, had several late scans in pregnancy due to the midwife’s concern about the size of her baby but was later reassured that there was nothing to worry about.
But, 15 hours into labour Hanna became concerned, her baby’s head gotten stuck due to its size and Hanna was forced to have an emergency C-section.
At just seven weeks old baby Lucy was diagnosed Craniosynostosis – an extremely rare condition that can lead to learning difficulties, sight problems and brain damage if left untreated – after it was found her skull had fused together prematurely.
In a bid to prevent her skull causing pressure on her brain, surgeons cut Lucy’s skull into several pieces and re-positioned it during a five hour long operation.
Thankfully the tot, who is now 17 months old, has now made a full recovery and has since hit all of her milestones.
Hanna, an accountant from Willingham, Cambridgeshire, said: “We were terrified when we found out that Lucy’s entire skull would have to be re-built.
“But we knew this would prevent her from developing life threatening issues as she grows.
“Labour with my first pregnancy lasted three hours and so this time around I knew something was wrong.
“After 15 hours I demanded to see a doctor as I knew something was wrong, nobody understood why my labour wasn’t progressing.
“Due to the stress and lengthy labour, Lucy was born with sepsis and a hole in her lung after the shock of the emergency delivery which was terrifying.
“Thankfully after a week in NICU she recovered and we were able to bring her home, but seven weeks later we were told she had Craniosynostosis.
“After her diagnosis we knew surgery was the only option, but there was the risk that she might not pull through, it was the longest day of our lives.
“During surgery the top of her skull was taken off and cut into sections, some parts were cut off completely and others were re-positioned, just like a jigsaw puzzle.
“She was left with a zig zag scar from ear to ear, but it has since healed nicely and her hair covers most of it.
“Lucy is now doing amazingly well and has been so much happier since the operation, she is meeting all her milestones and started walking two weeks ago.”
Hanna admits that her pregnancy wasn’t easy however Lucy’s rare condition went unnoticed.
She added: “At 36 weeks it was suspected that my baby had enlarged vessels on her brain, but after closer inspection the consultant told us that he couldn’t see anything wrong.
“Because of this I had a few extra scans, but no one picked up the size of her skull which was off the top of the chart when she was born.
“I had planned to have a normal labour and it was a complete shock when I was told I would need a C-section.
“During labour babies skulls usually move but Lucy’s couldn’t as it had already fused together.
“After she arrived she was taken into the NICU and kept there for seven days to treat the sepsis and her perforated lung.
“We asked several times if there was a problem with her skull but everyone told us all babies are born with funny shaped heads.
“But my husband, Tom, insisted that the ridge on her head wasn’t normal.
“At seven weeks old I took Lucy for a routine check-up and that’s when the consultant told us she had Craniosynostosis.”
Lucy was sent to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford and on January 16 this year she endured a five hour operation to re-shape her skull and prevent pressure developing on her brain.
Hanna said: “The medical team were amazing, they reassured us the whole way through and made sure Lucy was comfortable.
“As she was only 10 months old we had only just gotten used to her being at home and so it was really hard to see her go back into hospital again.
“After the op her face was really swollen and there was such an extreme change in her head shape that she looked unrecognisable.
“We didn’t get many negative comments but I remember the funny looks we used to get at different baby groups I attended.
“When I spoke to other mums they would make remarks about the size of her head and whether she was rolling or sitting and I felt like she was being constantly compared, so I stopped going.”
Hanna is now keen to raise awareness for Craniosynostosis as the rare condition is not widely known about.
She added: “It’s scary how limited the knowledge is before you actually get diagnosed and referred, GP’s often won’t see one case in their life time.
“She wears glasses to help with her sight but she shouldn’t need any further surgery on her skull.
“The parent support group cranio ribbons on Facebook have been amazing, it’s just a shame that we didn’t find this before Lucy’s operation.”