Cora was born in University College Hospital Galway in September 2020 after a very normal pregnancy. She was delivered by C section at full term and instantly we knew there was an abnormality in her head shape. Cora was reviewed by the consultant paediatrician the next day and she was sent for a scan, waiting for the results felt like the longest hours of our lives. Pictures were sent to Dr Murray in Temple Street along with her scans and she was diagnosed with Sagittal Craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the skull bones).
We were frightened and scared for her and many questions were running through our heads. Would she be able to play with her big brother Evan? Will she be able to eat? Will she be able to speak?
At 5 weeks old we made our first trip to Temple Street Hospital to meet the craniofacial team. We found out that Cora had no signs of having a syndrome associated with the condition which was a huge relief but she would need surgery to correct the deformity and allow the brain to grow normally and shape the head.
On February 17 when Cora was just 5 months old we made the trip to Temple Street for the surgery, the anxiety heightened by covid times and only one parent being allowed in to the hospital. Cora was admitted to St Gabriel’s ward for Cranial vault remodelling surgery. She went to theatre at approx. 9am and we got a call at just before 1pm to say she was in recovery and it went to plan with no complications, we cried with relief. The care and monitoring she received was fantastic. She recovered really well and after 4 days we were on our way home to Galway. The scar was quite frightening when people first seen it but now 5 months post-op her hair has grown over most of it. Everyone is amazed at how neat the scar is and the skill it takes the surgeons to carry out such a delicate procedure on a small baby.
Cora is a happy little 10 month old who is meeting all her milestones and is already bossing her big brother around! She is crawling, standing and saying plenty of words.
We still worry about the risk of her getting raised intracranial pressure in her brain but we hope this will never be the case and her only visits to Temple street will be her yearly follow up appointments!
Martina and Cathal Fahy
(Coras Mum and Dad)