Before baby Violet was born, her family learned there was something different about her, and that her face wouldn’t look the same as her twin Cora’s.
“It’s not ever something that you want to hear,” Alica Taylor, Oregon mother of five said to The New York Times. Violet would be born with a rare congenital defect called Tessier Cleft. This happens when the baby’s facial bones to not fully come together during development.
Violet had no cartilage in her nose, a growth on her forehead and eyes set so far a part that her vision could be compared more to a bird than a human.
When Violet was 19 months old, the family found hope through Dr. John Meara, a surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital. He was able to practice surgery on what they call 3-D prints, which is literally a plastic model of Violet’s skull. It allows surgeons to perform “surgery” before making the first cut on the child. This process allows surgeons to fully plan and practice such a serious operation.
The 10 hour successful operation took place in October, and although Violet has many more surgeries ahead of her, the first step was a great success because of this new medical process. Hopefully it will help many, many more in the future.
image courtesy of The New York Times