Baby George had two parts of his skull removed after a rare condition caused it to grow abnormally


A baby boy underwent major surgery to remove parts of his skull after a rare condition caused it to grow abnormally.

Little George Johnson was just 16-weeks-old when he had two sections of bone removed from his head.

The tot was born in August 2020 with two different types of craniosynostosis.

The birth defect caused bones in his skull to fuse together too early, before his brain has fully formed.

Without the operation, the condition could have affected how his brain developed and lead to serious complications.

These can include increased pressure in the brain, seizures, vision issues and developmental delays.



George before surgery
George before surgery

His mum Beverley Fothers first became concerned about the shape of George’s head when he was five-weeks-old.

She noticed an unusual ridge at the back of his head and was unable to find a back soft spot.

The 34-year-old, from Yarm, said: « I thought there’s something seriously wrong.

« I googled it and petrified myself with the condition as the only treatment is surgery.

« I cried for about three days and I didn’t say anything to my partner.

« When you have a baby you want everything to be perfect. »



Beverley Fothers and her son George post surgery
Beverley Fothers and her son George post surgery

Beverley found a support group and was advised to seek the advice of a specialist nurse at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool.

She said that the nurse confirmed George had Sagittal craniosynostosis at the back of his head and advised her to get a referral to the hospital from her GP.

Beverley, who is also mum to Joshua, 13, and Zac, nine, said: « People don’t know about this condition. There’s not a lot of research about it.

« It’s hard to pick up early on. »

In December last year, when George was four-months-old, he underwent an operation on the part of his skull which had come together too early.

While in surgery, medics discovered that bones at the front and side of his head had also fused together, known as coronal craniosynostosis.

They also opened up that part of his skull, during the six hour operation at the hospital on Merseyside.

Following the surgery, George was left with a zig zag scar from ear to ear, across the top of his head.

Beverley said that the affected parts of his head felt like a « sponge » as they were soft with no bone.



Joshua, Beverley, George and Zac
Joshua, Beverley, George and Zac

The mum-of-three, who is a nurse at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, said: « We managed to get him an operation at 16 weeks.

« George had bits of his skull taken out so it could regrow again.

« That was the first time me and George had been separated since he had been born.

« They can have a stroke while having it or a bleed on the brain.

« It was really difficult, awful. »

Six months on from his operation, Beverley and George’s dad Steven Johnson, 26, a physiotherapist, are thrilled with how well his is doing.

George, who is now nine-months-old, will be required to return to the hospital in Liverpool for regular appointments to monitor his development and vision.

Beverley said: « He’s so funny, he’s always smiling, he’s really happy and in to everything.

« He’s just doing so well. »



George with his dad Steven Johnson
George with his dad Steven Johnson

As a way of thanking the hospital, Beverley, Steven and Joshua will complete the Yorkshire three peaks in 12 hours to raise money for the Craniofacial department.

So far, they have raised almost £300 of their £1000 target via their online fundraising page.

Beverley said: « We want to give back to the people who have looked after us. »

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She has urged anybody who thinks their babies head shape is abnormal to push for further specialist advice.