Irish American doctor saves baby born with brain outside his head
Miracle Boston team saves Dominic Pio who had 'exquisitely rare' diagnosis
Dominic wasn’t out of the woods. Meara was concerned over infection, loss of blood and bone segments.
Meara told the Globe, “I had a lot of sleepless nights because so many things can go wrong in a case like this.”
On December 4 Dominic’s craniofacial surgery went ahead. It began at 8.30am and ended at 3.30pm and throughout the day there were ten to 20 people in the operating theater.
The operation involved removing a piece of the baby’s skull and creating a palate.
Proctor explained, “[The bone] became the floor for the brain as well as becoming the roof of the mouth.
“Before, the brain was sagging well down into the mouth.”
Meara had a three-dimensional acrylic model made of the baby’s head and face to prepare for the surgery. He made those cuts around Dominic’s eyes and upper jaw and moved the two halves of the jaw and the eyes together. He then merged the two noses into one, and two sections of the upper lip.
When the surgery was completed the doctors high-fived and hugged the parents but in the following days Dominic had seizures, developed fungal meningitis, and suffered respiratory and feeding problems. He was in intensive care for three weeks but on January 8 he went home with Mary to Wisconsin.
Dominic is now seven-months-old and the doctors and his parents are delighted with his development.
Meara said, “Developmentally, he seems to be appropriate for his age.
“I think it’s entirely possible that he will be an entirely normal little guy.”
The National Institute of Health states that children without a corpus callosum go on to lead normal lives, although they may have subtle cognitive and social difficulties.
The only element which seems uncertain is whether Dominic will ever see or be legally blind.
But Meara is optimistic.
He said, “When he’s 6 feet tall and has a head of hair on him, you may see a little line on his forehead, but that’s probably about it.”
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