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Irrepressible joy of life
When Ryan and Crysie Grelecki held their joyously awaited son Parker in their arms after his birth, they had to swallow hard. Both had terrible fear for their child.
Parker was born with a combination of craniosynostosis
(ossification of the cranial seams) and hydrocephalus
(also known as "water on the brain"). As a result, his brain was only taking up 5% of his skull, whereas in normal newborns, it fills 90 to 95%.
A few days after his birth, Parker had to be operated on. The doctors suctioned the excess spinal fluid from his skull and after two weeks, his parents were able to bring him home. After four weeks, he began physiotherapy.
His mother Crysie explained that it took a long time until Parker could sit up and hold his head up. Consequently, he passed right by the crawling phase and instead started directly off with walking.
Ryan and Crysie have come to love the team at their children's hospital in Atlanta. Doctors, nurses, and therapists have taken such good care of Parker, it's as if he were a member of their own family. "He is truly a very brave child. He has been through so much. He has always had a smile on this face," said Dr. Andrew Reisner, Director of Neuro Trauma at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
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