Triplets Born With Rare Skull Disorder Receive Experimental Surgery

Having children is supposed to bring joy to parents’ lives, but can you imagine how crazy it would be to have three children all at once?

Then can you even begin to consider the anguish that you would go through to find that all three of your triplets were sick and would need an operation on their skulls to get well again?

That’s what one couple recently had to face in Long Island. They’d just celebrated the arrival of triplets when they learned that their boys were very ill indeed. Only an experimental procedure had a shot at saving them and granting them a normal life.

Let’s meet the family.

10. Meet Hunter, Jackson And Kaden

These are the triplets Hunter, Jackson, and Kaden Howard. Multiple-birth pregnancies aren’t as unusual as you might think, but they are rare when the mother is in her late 30’s as Amy Jackson, the triplets’ mother is. Just 8 weeks after their miraculous arrival in this world, Amy noticed that something was very wrong.

9. Their Heads Were Malformed

Amy was putting the children to bed one night when she realized that something wasn’t quite right. “You could tell that their heads were a little bit malformed.” As you can imagine she was left extremely worried and she rushed her children to the nearest hospital for a medical opinion. What was wrong?

8. The Triplets Have Craniosynostosis

Doctors at the hospital were surprised. The triplets were suffering from a rare condition called craniosynostosis. The odds of this happening to any given child is approximately 1 in 2,000, but with triplets, these odds are more like 1 in 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 for all 3 children to be suffering from the condition.

7. Their Skulls Weren’t Formed Correctly

Craniosynostosis is the process by which a child’s skull begins to fuse prematurely after birth. If left untreated, it can cause abnormal brain development and a severe change in a child’s facial features. In many cases, it will then go on to cause a severe reduction in the IQ of the child. Was that what lay in store for the triplets?

6. The Good News Was Treatment Was Available

Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes craniosynostosis. It might be an environmental issue such as treatments given during pregnancy, it may have something to do with an excess of thyroid hormones or even be a genetic condition. However, there is some good news – the condition is treatable. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.

5. The Bad News Is That It Requires Surgery

In order for the Howard triplets to have a good chance of a normal life, each of them would require surgery and that meant their mother would have to authorize surgeons to operate directly on their skulls with all the risks that that entails. We can’t imagine that it was an easy decision to make.

4. Getting The Go Ahead

Amy was told that surgery was possible but that it was also still somewhat experimental. However, if she did not go ahead, her children could risk real health problems in the future and might even have brain injuries. She felt that it was in their best interests to give the go ahead and 10 weeks after their birth all three babies were on the operating table.

3. The Risky Operation

The doctors of Stony Brook University Hospital had to remove pieces of bone from each child’s skull. By removing the pieces that had prematurely fused together, the theory was that their skulls would be able to develop normally. Amy waited nervously as each of her sons underwent the treatment. How would it turn out?

2. The Operation Is A Success

Dr. Chesler of Stony Brook says that the operation was a huge success. “When you look from the top he has an almost almond or wedge-shaped head, that’s now gone. Three months later it’s nice and round,” he said of Jackson Hunter. What does their mother think?

1. Amy Is Delighted

Amy says that the boys are going to have to wear helmets which will guide their skulls to full recovery over the coming months, but she is happy. “They don’t mind the helmets. The surgery went great. I don’t even think they really were in too much pain,” she said.

The Hunter family is very lucky. The boys are going to grow up healthy and happy. They no longer have to worry that they may suffer brain damage from their craniosynostosis.

One valuable lesson from this case is that if you are worried about your child or children for any reason, it’s always best to get them checked by a medical professional. Amy’s swift action enabled her children to get the best possible treatment.

Please share this article with your friends and family on social media to help generate awareness of this condition and to let people know that there is a treatment.


What Others Are Reading