Tot dubbed Frankenbaby celebrates with adorable Halloween costume
Meet ‘Frankenbaby’ – the adorable little girl whose lifesaving operation has left her with a zigzag scar across her head just like Frankenstein’s monster.
Nine-month-old Aubrey Sauer from Huntsville in Alabama, USA, was diagnosed with craniosynostosis– a genetic condition where the bones in the skull fuse prematurely.
It left Aubrey with an ‘egg-shaped’ head that meant there would not be enough room for her brain to grow properly and if untreated risked giving her brain damage.
When neurosurgeons operated on her three months ago, they made an incision across her head, drilled holes to create room for brain growth and pieced her skull back together again.
Mum Niki, 28, realised that Aubrey’s surgery scar made her look like Frankenstien’s monster and nicknamed her adorable tot ‘Frankenbaby’.
With Halloween approaching, mum-of-one Niki purchased a special Frankenstein costume to celebrate her daughter overcoming craniosynostosis.
Niki, a full-time mum, said: “We called her ‘Frankenbaby’ while she was recovering because of the scar across her head so it only seemed right to dress her up as Frankenstein for Halloween.
“At the time knowing what she’d have to go through was pretty scary but now she’s healing I can finally laugh about it and move on.
“The scar looks great now, it used to be a bright red colour but now it’s fading and healing nicely.”
Niki was first concerned after noticing her daughter had an unusually long and pointed shaped head, shortly after she was born.
She said: “Before, her head was really pointed at the back and pushed out at the front.
“Instead of having a round shaped her like most other babies Aubrey’s was oval and round like an egg.
“I knew it looked a little funny, but I didn’t know there was anything wrong at first.
“Doctors told me they need to make a cut from ear to ear, pull back the skin and shave away part of the bone in her skull.
“After enough bone was removed they would then stitch her back up and she would be a zigzag scar across her head.
“It sounded like something medieval like a lobotomy, hearing that they would need to drill into my daughter’s skull was pretty terrifying but now she’s fully recovered.”
The surgery corrected the shape of Aubrey’s skull and gradually over time her scar will fade into her hairline.
Niki said: “Before the surgery her forehead was starting to protrude and was getting really pointed, but now it’s looking more and more rounded each day.
“If she didn’t have the surgery, she definitely would have looked funny growing up and I wouldn’t wish that upon my daughter.
“Over time, as her hair grows longer the scar will be hidden beneath her hairline and it will be covered nicely.
“It was pretty terrifying at the time, but I’m glad we went through it.”
Now mum-of-one Niki has been raising awareness of Craniosynostosis and encourages parents to get any unusual symptoms checked out.
The condition affects one in 2,500 children according to the Children’s Craniofacial Association (CCA) – a charity that provides financial support for families facing the condition.
Erica Mossholder, executive director of the CCA, said: “Our skulls are not made up of one single ‘bowl’ of bone, instead, different bones fit together like a jigsaw puzzle making up the skull.
“The growing brain pushes on the bones of the skull causing the skull bones to expand or grow.
“When one of these sutures is fused too early, it is called craniosynostosis, there will be no growth in this area.
“The diagnosis of craniosynostosis can only be accurately be made by X-rays such as a CT scan, however any child with an unusually shaped head is certainly suspect.”
For more information, visit www.ccakids.com