Stony Brook Medicine

When the family goes for a walk or shopping, hardly anyone can resist the curiosity: what is it?

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Their names are Hunter, Kaden, and Jackson, they are triplets born to the family of Howard. And each of the boys has a personal, cute hat. But this is not a decoration, but a medical device that can help them to fight with a rare disease - craniosynostosis causing defects in the structure of the skull. Doctors say that this is the first case in the history of medicine when this disease is fixed at the triplets.

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The skulls of Jackson, Hunter and Kaden Howard failed to fully develop, causing pressure, and abnormally shaped heads. This can cause headaches, learning difficulties and eye problems.
75 per cent of those with craniosynostosis are boys. Most children thankfully recover well after surgery.

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Doctors removed a bone from each of the triplets’ heads when they were only nine weeks old, and six months later they are developing satisfactorily. “They are certainly a handful! But we wouldn't change it for the world,” their father Michael said.

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Their mother, Amy commented she “was nervous before the surgery for sure. But now they're doing great. It's amazing.”

Two of the triplets are identical, and were born with sagittal synostosis. The third one, Kaden, who is fraternal, had metopic synostosis. These conditions are the same, but involve different bones in the skull. “If you crunch all the numbers, the chance of having triplets with these conditions is one in 500 trillion,” the boys' doctor Dr David Chesler said.

Before being born, the triplets’ check-ups revealed nothing out of the ordinary, but at birth, Dr Chesler immediately saw something was wrong. “Very often I wouldn't do a CT scan because based on the shape of the head I can make a diagnosis. But in this case we decided it was best,” he said.
This Jackson Howard, before and after wearing the helmet:

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Stony Brook Medicine

Hunter Howard, before and after wearing the helmet:

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Stony Brook Medicine

And Kaden Howard, after birth and after a few months of therapy:

Stony Brook Medicine
Stony Brook Medicine

The chances of a full recovery triplets Howard is estimated at 95%. And doctors believe that their brain does not suffer, and eventually disappear, and all traces of the intervention, so its uniqueness brothers will know only from photographs in infancy.

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