Baby Born with Oversized Tongue Can Finally Smile After Surgery
A 16-month-old baby girl from South Dakota has finally been given relief from her oversized tongue. The child, Paisley Morrison-Johnson, was born with a rare condition called Beckwith-Wiedmann syndrome, a medical problem that results in an abnormal growth of certain body parts. The condition affects only one in around 13,700 babies across the world.
Paisley was born with a tongue that was the size of that of an adult. As a result of the problem, doctors were worried that she would suffocate due to the great size of the organ. The baby’s mother, Madison Kienow, claimed that she wasn’t aware of her daughter’s condition until she had an emergency C-section performed during her seventh month of pregnancy. She reported that when doctors performed her procedure and removed Paisley, she noticed that her tongue was huge. The doctors immediately put the baby on a ventilator as they believed her airway might be constricted as a result of the phenomenon.
Kienow said that she was not even able to see her baby, touch her or even hear her cry as the doctors moved quickly.
Following her birth, Paisley remained at an NICU in Sioux Falls and was subsequently diagnosed as having Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Doctors recommended that the baby receive surgery on her oversized tongue to improve the quality of her breathing and life in general. She had her first surgery at only six months of age and then a second when she was 13 months old. The surgeon stated that Paisley’s tongue was the largest for a small infant that he had ever seen, according to Kienow.
The rare medical condition caused the baby’s tongue to grow to more than double the size of her mouth. This is a condition known as macroglossia. Around 90 percent of children who have Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome have enlarged tongues, which can cause problems with breathing, eating, and speech.
Prior to her surgery, Paisley had to be fed using a gastronomy tube as she was not able to normally eat and was not receiving the nutrients that are crucial for babies to survive. She was also unable to breathe on her own until after the surgery and remained on a ventilator until it was performed.
Since the surgery, which was successful, Kienow says that she no longer has to worry about her daughter choking. In addition, she reports that Paisley has begun to say some words, eat adult food and is even beginning to grow in her teeth. Kienow says her little girl has even since taken her first step.
However, the tongue surgery to fix Paisley’s Beckwith-Wiedemann surgery has had yet another benefit, as the child is now able to smile. Her mother said that that is “the best feeling.” She added that Paisley is growing up and has a lot of spunk, love, and tons of personality.
Incredibly, Paisley’s surgery saw more than six inches of muscle removed from her oversized tongue. Doctors have hope that she will not require any additional surgery. Doctors recommend that children with Beckwith-Wiedemann surgery be regularly monitored to ensure that other problems associated with the condition don’t appear. Kids with the condition have a seven to 25 percent greater chance of developing cancerous tumors, so Paisley will have to undergo blood work and ultrasounds every three months until the age of eight, which is when the risk decreases considerably.
Proud mom Kienow says that her little girl is well taken care of and very happy in spite of having to undergo these procedures. She concluded by stating that they are very confident about Paisley’s future.