Young Maxwell Normand was born with craniosynostosis, a birth defect that USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital quickly corrected.
Several years ago, Maxwell Normand was born with craniosynostosis, a birth defect found in about one in every 2,000 infants. It is a condition in which one or more of the fibrous sutures in an infant’s skull prematurely fuses by turning into bone, thereby changing the growth pattern of the skull. Because the skull can’t expand perpendicular to the fused suture, it compensates by growing more in the direction parallel to the closed sutures. When this happens, children like Maxwell have abnormally large foreheads and other deformities on the head until it is corrected.
“The thought of my child undergoing surgery on his head was so scary,” recalls Simone Normand, Maxwell’s mother. “It was a really stressful situation.”
USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile provides care in pediatric neurological surgery. Specialists were there for Simone and her husband David any time they needed to call with questions or concerns.
“I was overwhelmed by the friendliness and warmth of the staff,” Simone says. “I called their office 15 to 20 times the month before the surgery. If someone couldn’t talk right then, they always called me back that same day.”
When the surgery date rolled around, both David and Simone were nervous. Afterward, Simone couldn’t sleep as little Maxwell lay recovering, while hooked up to a network of machines. But a caring staff was there to put them at ease.
Simone remembers one nurse in particular who came in and told her, “You need to get some sleep. We’ve got Maxwell under control. He’s going to be just fine. Make sure you’re rested for when he leaves here.”
In fact, Simone is still friends with that nurse today. “We message on Facebook from time to time. She likes to check in on Maxwell,” Simone notes.
Two days after the operation, Maxwell was home. The surgical scar was barely noticeable. The recovery went as smoothly as the operation. While difficult emotionally for the family, the entire process was made much easier by the staff at Children’s & Women’s Hospital.
“Maxwell is well on his way to becoming as mischievous as any kid can be,” Simone says with a grateful smile. “He’s happy and healthy because of Children’s & Women’s Hospital. I’ll always trust them with anything that my kids need healthwise.”