Health Stories

Born with his brain outside his skull

Meet the inspirational little boy defying the odds
Facebook - Sierra Yoder

When Sierra Yoder went for her 22-week scan, she could tell instantly something was wrong.

That’s when doctors told her the heartbreaking news that her baby had encephalocele, meaning much of his brain was outside his skull.

‘They said there was no chance he was going to live,’ Sierra told The Washington Post.

While she was advised to terminate the pregnancy, Sierra and her husband, Dustin, wanted to give their boy the best shot at life.

Bentley as a newborn (Credit: Facebook – Sierra Yoder)

‘When they first described what to expect when he first came out, they said he won’t talk, he won’t move and he’ll just be a shell,’ Dustin said.

But little Bentley defied the odds, coming in the world kicking and screaming like a healthy newborn.

‘We were excited to meet him, even if it was only for an hour,” Sierra told The Washington Post .

‘We were just relieved he made it that far and we would get to meet him, living and breathing.’

Even still, doctors held grim fears for his life and put Bentley in palliative care.

‘He was never looked at as a baby who was going to survive,’ Sierra said.

But Bentley continued to stun medical professionals and thrived at home with his big brother, Beau.

Bentley continued to thrive at home (Credit: Facebook – Sierra Yoder)

That’s when the family sought the help of the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Meeting with Dr John Meara, he told them there was a good chance Bentley was actually using the brain tissue that was outside his skull.

‘Because of how different his brain really is, they have no one to compare him to,’ Sierra said.

The family spending time together before the operation (Credit: Facebook – Sierra Yoder)

So Dr Meara and his team completed a delicate five-hour procedure to move Bentley’s brain back into his cranium.

Now seven months old, the brave tot is thriving and is ‘eating, smiling and jabbering’.

While there is no telling what the future holds, Bentley is one incredible little boy.

Bentley after his operation (Credit: Facebook – Sierra Yoder)

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