Baby with rare genetic condition undergoes tricky surgery

HealthHealthcare ProvidersPeyton Manning

A five month-old Indianapolis infant is recovering from surgery at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. Her doctors call the surgery "monumental."

Kaydence Theriault is one of three triplets all born with a rare genetic condition known as Crouzon Syndrome, which results in the premature closure of the skull. On Monday, a team of doctors worked for six hours to reshape her cranium to allow for normal brain development.

"This was a monumental procedure for the importance of her brain development for the future," said Dr. Michael Sadove, a pediatric plastic surgeon at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.

Before the delicate, marathon surgery, Kaydence's skull protruded on the right and left sides, as well as the top. The medical effort was made possible by video conference consultations with a host of physicians and medical experts in Florida who used advanced CT scanning technology to provide models of the infant's skull.

"We have to take this basic shape, and make it look more normal," said Dr. Ronald Young, the pediatric neurosurgeon who took part in the procedure.

"It really is 21st century medicine at its best."

Sister Kaylin and brother Taylor each face surgeries next month, but their conditions are not as severe as Kaydence's. Developmentally, all three are as healthy as other five month-olds. So while the physical deformity itself was reason enough for the surgery, doctors felt it was important to be aggressive with Kayden's treatment to allow for continued normal brain development.

Kaydence's mother, Bobbie-Jo Theriault, was confident about her triplets' prognosis, but was relieved when she saw the smiling doctors emerge from the behind closed doors.

"I know that she's a strong little girl," Theriault said.

"I knew she would do well, {but} of course I knew the risks. I was very very nervous."

Down the road, Kayden will need at least two more procedures that will focus around her eyes. That will come after an assessment three to six months from now.

The hospital is working with the family to provide the care, but the Theriault Triplet Fund has been created to help defray medical costs. Contributions can be made at any Fifth Third Bank.

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