As the old saying goes, “Like father, like daughter.”
Charlotte Misko takes after her dad, Zeb Misko, in many ways. In addition to having her daddy’s eyes, they share identical scars behind their right ears thanks to a rare condition called craniosynostosis.
Craniosynostosis is rare, occurring in just one out of every 2,000 infants. It happens when the bones in a baby’s skull fuse together before the brain is fully developed. If left untreated, it can cause seizures, blindness, or brain damage.
Charlotte was born breech, so when she emerged with a pointy head, doctors assumed her bones would correct themselves on their own in a few weeks.
As the days went by, Zeb and his wife Bethany began to have their doubts. Even though Zeb doesn’t remember going through it, he had the exact same condition when he was about 5 months old. Zeb had surgery to correct the condition and has had no problems ever since. He and Bethany wondered if lightning could possibly strike twice, so they sought help from a neurologist.
Incredibly enough, they learned that Charlotte did have craniosynostosis. “It’s very shocking that we both ended up having it,” Zeb said.
The fact that he’d been through the same thing as an infant reassured them that Charlotte would recover as well.
“That gave us a sense of comfort,” Zeb added. “I had the same total cranial bolt surgery 27 years ago and we were like, ‘I’m sure that the medical technology and surgical procedures have only improved in those 27 years,’ so we felt very comfortable with the team at the Cleveland Clinic performing the same exact surgery, just 27 years later.”
When she was 6 months old, Charlotte had her surgery at Cleveland Clinic. She soared through the operation and recovered well. Her parents even said seeing her eyes light up when they came into the hospital room filled them with joy.
“Then she opened her eyes shortly thereafter,” Bethany explained. “When they make eye contact with you and recognize you, then it’s like, OK, there’s my baby.”
Charlotte is now a healthy, happy baby who’s sleeping though the night already. She probably won’t even remember her surgery — just like her dad! This is one little girl who’s truly a chip off the old block.
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