A baby boy has a new lease on life after being born with a massive cyst in between his eyes. We’ve got the before and after pics from his dramatic surgery
An Ohio baby born with a rare birth defect can finally begin living life as a normal child. Little Zakary Riegel was born in Dec. 2016 with the genetic disorder Encephalocele, which caused his brain tissue to grow out like a giant balloon in a cyst between his eyes. He spent his first five months of life in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and now he has undergone a dangerous procedure to have it removed. He had to wait until he weighed 15 pounds to undergo the complex nine hour brain surgery that also included facial reconstruction from a plastic surgeon. Fortunately it turned out to be a total success.
Little Zackary’s mom Valeka, 46, is a surgical nurse and was five months pregnant when a fetal ultrasound revealed that the boy had Encephalocele, where a tube in his brain hadn’t closed. Doctors though the outcome would mean a cyst on Zak’s cheek but after he was born it proved to be far more serious. He had a massive cyst that went from the bridge of his nose and covered nearly his entire little face! The mass restricted his breathing so he had to stay in a pediatric ICU until he was five months old and weighed enough to under to the long and dangerous procedure.
Zakary has just turned one and is now able to smile, crawl and do other things that a child of his age would do. Except to reach his birthday milestone he went through so much more than other babies do. He still has a heightened risk of developmental disorders and seizures due to nature of the brain surgery, but his mom is so happy that her son has a better chance for a normal life. After the surgery was performed, she wrote a note to her son saying, “For the first time I saw your face! You have two beautiful brown eyes, with long fluffy, eyelashes and eyebrows. You even had a little button nose and perfectly shaped lips. Your scars were minimal but your swelling was quite overwhelming.” Wow! That little guy is such a trooper.
HollywoodLifers, are you moved by Zakary’s story?