ERICK : Born in Pembroke Pines, FL. Oct 18th @ 7lbs. 9oz.
Erick is my second child. He has a 5 year old sister named Aaliyah. Being Aaliyah never had any issues, I was not very concerned when Erick was born and noticed one eye always closed and the other open. I figured he was swollen from birth and maybe too lazy to open up both eyes all the way. But my husband insisted something wasn’t right. Then I began to look a little closer and worried maybe he had a lazy eye. We were referred to pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Bruce Miller. Turns out Erick didn’t have a lazy eye, in fact both eyes were perfect! Then Dr. Miller said, “Seems Erick might have some facial assymetry.” “HUH?!” was my response. He told me I want you to go see my friend Dr. Eric Stelnicki. Of course I went home and researched him right away. I thought, a plastic surgeon? Why?? Then on appointment day with Dr. Stelnicki, I was a bit upset because I figured, “Erick will need a helmet.” (<how I wish it would’ve been that simple now) Turns out the dent my husband and I kept seeing on Erick’s forehead (right side) was due to Right Coronal Craniosynostosis. Hence why Erick didn’t seem to have an eyebrow bone above his right eye. We went to do a CT Scan at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and it was confirmed he had it. When I was told my son would need surgery I was at a loss for words. I thought right away, what did I do wrong? How could I have prevented this? It’s my fault. But we have to remember, our kids were chosen ones, because they are special. God loves them and has a plan for them. This kept my family strong. Erick met with a neurosurgeon Dr. Luis Rodriguez, partner of Dr. Stelnicki, with these surgeries, and without more time being wasted, a few days after Erick’s 3 month bday, surgery was scheduled. On January 23rd, I handed my son off to a nurse and began anxiously waiting. Surgery took a little longer due to the fact that even though it was an endoscopic procedure, (less blood loss, only 2 incisions) Erick was getting a distractor put in to push out the dent in the forehead. Yes, the distractor would entail my son having a small screw coming out the right side of his head. With time this screw would have to be turned to help the skull and the orbital of the right eye be set in place. Here we are only a week post op and he is recovering so well. I am so happy with how strong my son is. He will be getting the screw taken out in 3 months, then we will follow the route to a helmet. God bless him, and his cranio friends, a group of people I would have never been able to get through this without!