Cambridgeshire baby with alien-shaped head has surgery

A baby born with an 'rugby ball-shaped' head had life-saving surgery to cut her skull into four sections before weaving it back together 'like a jigsaw'.

Lucy Bowran-Pavey, now 17 months, was diagnosed with craniosynostosis - a rare birth defect which causes an abnormally-shaped head.

Her mother Hanna, 39, was forced to have an emergency C-section when her baby's head got stuck during labour due to its enlarged size. 

Without the operation, Lucy - whose skull had fused together prematurely - could have been left severely brain damaged and blind. 

Thankfully she has made a full recovery and has since hit all of her milestones.  

Lucy Bowran-Pavey had her head glued back together in a lifesaving operation

Lucy Bowran-Pavey had her head glued back together in a lifesaving operation

Parents Hanna and Tom knew something was wrong during the difficult labour

Parents Hanna and Tom knew something was wrong during the difficult labour

Hanna, an accountant from Willingham, Cambridgeshire, said: 'We were terrified when we found out that Lucy's entire skull would have to be re-built.

'But we knew this would prevent her from developing life threatening issues as she grows.'

'I knew something was wrong' 

Hanna had several late scans in pregnancy due to the midwife's concern about the size of her baby but was reassured that there was nothing to worry about.

However, during labour the mother-of-two began to panic as the baby did not seem to want to come out after 15 hours. 

'Labour with my first pregnancy lasted three hours and so this time around I knew something was wrong,' she said.

The top of Lucy's skull was taken off and cut into sections and re-positioned 'just like a jigsaw puzzle' explains Hanna

The top of Lucy's skull was taken off and cut into sections and re-positioned 'just like a jigsaw puzzle' explains Hanna

'After 15 hours I demanded to see a doctor as I knew something was wrong, nobody understood why my labour wasn't progressing.

'I had planned to have a normal labour and it was a complete shock when I was told I would need a C-section.

'During labour babies skulls usually move but Lucy's couldn't as it had already fused together.'

After an emergency C-section, and due to the stress and lengthy labour efforts, Lucy was born with deadly sepsis and a hole in her lung.  

She was kept in the neonatal intensive care unit for seven days before her parents were allowed to take her home.

Lucy  wears glasses but has recovered well and shouldn't need any further surgery

Lucy  wears glasses but has recovered well and shouldn't need any further surgery

But Hanna and her husband Tom were left wondering why their baby's head was extra large.

'We asked several times if there was a problem with her skull but everyone told us all babies are born with funny shaped heads,' explained Hanna.

'But Tom insisted that the ridge on her head wasn't normal.

'At seven weeks old I took Lucy for a routine check-up and that's when the consultant told us she had craniosynostosis.' 

Surgery was Lucy's only option

The baby spent her first week in intensive care being treated for sepsis and a hole in her lung

The baby spent her first week in intensive care being treated for sepsis and a hole in her lung

In a bid to prevent her skull causing pressure on her brain, in January surgeons cut Lucy's skull into several pieces and re-positioned it during a five hour long operation. 

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