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With slideshow: Ilkeston baby’s miracle recovery after surgeons pieced his skull back together

A baby born with a rare defect has made a miraculous recovery after surgeons were forced to break open his skull and piece it back together like a jigsaw.

Smiling seven-month-old Harrison, son of Natalie Harkin, 25, and Dominic Guy, 25, has amazed doctors with his quick recovery after enduring a five-hour operation to reshape his skull.

At just ten weeks old he was diagnosed with a rare condition called craniosynostosis, a birth defect causing the joints between the bones of a baby’s skull to fuse together.

Natalie, of Godfrey Drive, Kirk Hallam, said: “When I took him for a check up at three weeks they noticed he didn’t have a soft spot and had a ridge at the back of his head. They sent us to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to see a paediatrician and they told us it was craniosynostosis.

“We got referred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and were told he needed to have surgery because two plates at the back of his head had fused together so there was no space for his brain to grow. Without surgery he would have ended up brain damaged.”

The surgery was scheduled to take place next month but a cancellation saw it brought forward to August. It involved Harrison having his skull taken apart, cut into small bits and put back together.

“We were heartbroken when we found out.” said Natalie, “You read things on the internet and it makes it worse but he was absolutely amazing. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. It was lucky that he had a cancellation appointment as when they did his surgery there was a lot of pressure build up. If it was left any longer he would have ended up with brain damage so he’s very lucky.

“The hospital was overwhelmed by how quick he recovered and said they have never known a child to recover from this operation so quickly.”

The operation took around five hours. Brave Harrison was meant to be in intensive care for two days but doctors said he was well enough to come home the next day. His bandages came off after three days.

Natalie said: “By day four he was back to his normal self and doesn’t seem to be phased by it.”

Harrison will now have to have regular check-ups until he is 16 because his bones could re-fuse.

The couple, who also have two-year-old daughter Lola Rose, want to raise awareness of the condition as part of craniosynostosis awareness month.

They are setting up a charity called ‘BASH - Born a superhero’ for children with illnesses and disabilities and are holding a charity gala on Friday November 6 at the Nottinghamshire Golf Club.

Follow Harrison’s journey on his Facebook page ‘my craniobears journey’.

An Ilkeston baby born with a rare condition that underwent major surgery on his skull at just a few months old has made a miracle recovery.

Seven-month-old Harrison, son of Natalie Harkin, 25, and Dominic Guy, 25, from Godfrey Drive, Kirk Hallam has amazed doctors with his quick recovery.

At just ten weeks old he got diagnosed with a rare condition called craniosynostosis, sa birth defect in which one or more of the joints between the bones of a baby’s skull close prematurely

Natalie said: “When I took him for a check up at three weeks they noticed he didn’t have a soft spot and had a ridge at the back of his head. They sent us to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to see a paediatrician and they told us it was craniosynostosis.

“We got referred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and were told he needed to have surgery because two plates at the back of his head had fused together so there was no space for his brain to grow. Without surgery he would have ended up brain damaged.”

The surgery was scheduled to take place in October but a cancellation saw it brought forward to August. It invloved Harrison having his skull taken apart, cut into small bits and put back .

“We were heartbroken when we found out.’ said Natalie, ‘ You read things on the Internet and it makes it worse . But he was absolutely amazing, it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.”

“ It was lucky that he had a cancellation appointment as when they did his surgery there was a lot of pressure build up. If it was left any longer he would have ended up with brain damage so he’s very lucky.

“The hospital was overwhelmed by how quick he recovered and said they have never known a child to recover from this operation so quickly.”

The operation was complete in around four to five hours. Harrison slept for the rest of the day and was meant to be in intensive care for two days but was able to come out the next day. The bandages and drain came off after three days.

Natalie said: “By day four he was back to his normal self and doesn’t seem to be phased by it.”

He will now have to have regular check ups until he is 16 because the bones could re-fuse. On Friday they went back to hospital to check the scar.

The couple, who also have a two-year-old daughter called Lola Rose, want to raise awareness of the condition as part of craniosynostosis awareness month.

They are setting up a charity called ‘BASH - Born a superhero’ for children with illnesses and disabilities. They are holding a charity gala on Friday November 6 at the Nottinghamshire Golf Club.

Follow Harrison’s journey on his Facebook page ‘my craniobears journey’.