A newborn baby boy was given small chances of surviving a facial surgery that would save his life from his deformity. The baby was able to celebrate his first birthday after beating the odds of survival following the pioneering surgery.
The baby would have died trying to swallow his own saliva unless doctors intervened.
Life-Saving Facial Surgery
Noah Connell was born with deformities in the lower part of his face that prevent his face and jaw from growing properly. Noah's condition would also make it difficult for him to breathe. His deformities were so severe that swallowing his own saliva could prove deadly. Before the surgery, Noah had an underdeveloped jaw, small neck, floppy airway, cleft palate, and was missing part of his spine.
Noah underwent eight operations to be able to make it to his first birthday. Noah's mother Jade Gordon says that when he was undergoing surgeries and that she was told on numerous occasions that he wasn't going to make it. Gordon says that it meant a lot for them to be able to celebrate Noah's first birthday.
Noah was given a birthday party, which friends and family attended. Gordon didn't realize she was pregnant with Noah until she felt stomach pains. Those stomach pains turned out to be Gordon going into labor with Noah. When he was born Noah appeared not to have a jaw.
Due to his condition, Noah was not able to eat nor drink because it would cause breathing problems. Noah had to be fed through a tube that gave him 620ml of a high-calorie solution so that he would be able to gain weight and grow. Gordon said that the problem was so severe that it would take her hours to bathe Noah, she was scared of water impeding his breathing.
To help Noah breathe, doctors had to insert metal rods to secure the bones in his face. This surgery is called mandibular jaw distraction. This procedure forced doctors to break his jaw in two places then inserted the rods to straighten his face and move his tongue forward.
Noah's parents learned how to turn the screws attached to his face for three weeks. They had to learn carefully because the process required precision. The surgery has mad Noah's jaw move 4 cm forward. Noah was the first baby in the world to have mandibular jaw distraction.
The metal rods will not stay in his face forever. Noah will have the metal rods removed from his face next month.