On July 16, 2014, two weeks after her first birthday, we went to NY Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital for surgery. Laying her on the surgical table and leaving her was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. The grueling 6 hr wait while she was in surgery wasn’t much better. When the neurologist came out in the middle of surgery and told us that when they removed the bone, that her brain almost immediately expanded and shifted to where it was supposed to be, I cried and hugged him. I knew we were doing the best thing for her, but to hear the physical reaction was affirmation that she really needed it and it was all worth it. Once they told us the surgery was over and they were waking her up, I nearly ran to the picu to see her. I was shaking while they got her situated in her room. Seeing her in that big bed all bandaged up was heartbreaking and all I wanted to do was hold her. The next day she was a happy little girl and two days post-op they sent us home. It was scary because she seemed so fragile. The doctors were happy with her recovery and she is back to her normal self, just with a really bad haircut. I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude to our pedi, our friends and family praying, Cranio Care Bears, and mostly the outstanding doctors and nurses that took care of our Isabella. We are truly blessed and proud of our Craniowarrior!
In November 2012 we found out that we were expecting. We were excited and nervous like all first time parents. I am a teacher and I loved sharing my pregnancy with my class of pre-k students and their families. I had a normal pregnancy and on June 29th (a week after I started summer break) my water broke after I woke up to start my day. At 2:59am on June 30, after only 10 minutes of pushing, our little Isabella was born! I couldn’t believe I could love someone as much as I instantly fell for my angel! After a few months (around 2 or 3 months old) we noticed a bump on the back of one side of her head. We brought it up to our pediatrician, but he said that it was from the way she was sleeping and to give her more tummy time and it would fix itself. Three months later it still hadn’t gone away and we also noticed that there was a slight slant on the top of her head. She also seemed to keep her head turned to one side. Still, her pedi said it was positional and she would grow out of it. We had to change peditricians because I lost my insurance and I was devastated. I loved the pedi, all my nieces and nephew went to him, and he was with us on the day she was born. After visiting one doctor that was horrible we found a terrific office to take her. At her office visit as the doctor was examining and playing with Isabella he turns to us and says “tell me about this” while touching her head. We explained what we were told and he said that he wanted us to take her to a pediatric neurologist to be sure. He said that it was probably nothing, but if it was his daughter he would want to be 100% sure. After being sent for a CAT scan after the first visit, we were told that she had craniosynostosis of the left lambdoid suture. Cranio-what?! Lamb-who? I hardly heard half of what she said at first cause I was just bawling as my perfect little girl sat in my lap and I was being told that there was something wrong with her and she might need surgery. The neurologist assured us that she was going to send us to the best doctor she could.
We visited the office of Dr. Mark Souidane and she wasn’t lying. He was remarkable. He made this hysterical mother feel a little more at ease. He was going to send us to the plastic surgeon that he worked with and from there they would schedule surgery. Unfortunately, we found out Dr. Souidane did not take our insurance, but his colleague, Dr. Greenfield did. I was nervous at first about a different doctor, but after meeting him, I felt just as comfortable, and was relieved that if Isabella had to go through this, at least she had an amazing team working on her.