Life-saving ‘jigsaw’ surgery for baby boy whose GP said he was fine

Mum's intuition saved her boy.
Sophie Murray

When Sophie Murray noticed her boy’s head was taking on a weird triangular shape, she immediately took him to the doctor.

Her GP, however, didn’t bother to look into it further. As far as the doctor could see, Finley was a healthy baby.

‘It’s like they were looking at me as a young mum who was worrying about nothing,’ says Sophie.

And her boy was suffering: ‘He was always getting viral infections, he wasn’t reaching his milestones and it got to the point where every day he would be clutching his head and screaming from the pain.’

She decided to take photos of her one-year-old’s bulging head and sent them to specialists around the country.

Sophie said she heard back within 15 minutes. There was something wrong with her boy’s head. And it was serious.

Within weeks Finley had been diagnosed with Metopic craniosynostosis – a condition that means her boy’s skull had already fused and as he got older his growing brain would get squashed in the tight space.

If left untreated the condition could cause serious brain damage, but the treatment sounded just as incredible!

‘They cut off bits of his skull and put them back together like a jigsaw. All his face bones had to be pushed forward,’ explains Sophie.

‘They cut his head open from ear-to-ear and the surgeon said when they opened up his skull, Finley’s brain was bulging at the top from where it had been so squashed.’

Finley now has a a zigzagging scar right across the top of his head, and his whole face has changed – which mum found hard to deal with at first.

‘I was quite upset because he looked so different. It was like looking at another boy and it was a shock.’

After everything, Sophie is so happy to have found the answer for her poor boy and is confident that after his surgery he will have a happy, healthy childhood.

‘Without the surgery, Finley would have had serious development issues, he would have had facial deformities, he would have been bullied at school. That is the opposite of what you want for your child.

‘The surgeons were really lovely and helpful. And Finley is doing amazingly since, he’s even learnt two words. I’m so proud of him.’

Related stories