At 22 weeks into her pregnancy, Sierra Yoder, and her husband, Dustin Yoder were told their unborn child had a rare congenital disorder in which a baby’s brain herniates from the skull, causing portions of the brain to form outside the head, covered by skin or membranes, the Washington Post reports — devastating news for any parent.
The disorder, Encephalocele, affects nearly one out of every 10,000 babies in the U.S. each year and the Yoder’s unborn son wasn’t given much of a chance to survive. The family from Sugarcreek, a small Ohio town, was given new hope by surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital, after birth of their son, Bentley. A neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon there developed a plan unique to Bentley, because unlike cases they’ve seen, he was using a majority of the part of his brain that was outside of his skull.
The team used 3D printed models to orchestrate their procedure, and after a five-hour surgery put his brain inside his head, Bentley was sitting quiet and healthy in recovery. The surgery was a success and Boston Children’s surgeons and the Yoder’s are optimistic about his future, according to the article.
“Because of how different his brain really is, they have no one to compare him to,” Sierra Yoder said to the Post, commenting doctors believe he will experience a “rewarding life. We just have to take it step by step.”
Marvels in smaller doses:
- Take a trip back in time and try not to cringe at seven of the most gruesome medical devices in history, courtesy of STAT.
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