GALLERY: An unpronounceable journey fixing baby Koa's skull
RACHAEL Bazzocco knew there wasn't something quite right with her daughter Koa's head as soon as she was born…then two weeks later her forehead had sunken in.
"We googled sunken foreheads we came up with this long word beginning with 'c' that we couldn't pronounce," the Rockhampton mother said.
"Our paediatrician confirmed the diagnosis of right coronal craniosynostosis and that started our journey."
Despite her doctor referring Koa to a specialist in Brisbane, Rachael already knew she wanted to see Professor David in Adelaide at the world-class clinic.
So four months after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, the nervous Mum was readying her daughter for extensive reconstructive surgery.
"They literally pulled her skull out and her forehead out and gave her a new cheek…and put it all back where it needed to be," Rachael said.
"It was horrible having to hand her over. That was the worst part. It didn't sink in until you were literally talking to the anaesthetic lady and they take her out of your arms and take her away.
"You see her lying in the bed, then it was real and it had happened and there was no turning back as it was the best thing for her and to avoid future brain pressure and facial deformity."
Rachael said recovery was hard, but she and her husband Paul knew exactly what to expect thanks to a friend they met through their mutual paediatrician; and another they found through a craniosynostosis Facebook page.
"When we were with the paediatrician they mentioned that they were treating another cranial baby. So I asked her to pass my details on and that afternoon Jasmine messaged me," she said.
"And I met Amanda first before we had surgery through one of the Facebook pages. They were a great support.
"I couldn't have done it without them, really. Thanks to Amanda I knew how Koa was going to look after surgery… being able to pass that onto Jasmine has been great."
What is it?
Craniosynostosis consists of premature fusion of one or more cranial sutures, often resulting in an abnormal head shape.
The condition may result from a primary defect of ossification (primary craniosynostosis) or, more commonly, from a failure of brain growth (secondary craniosynostosis).
Simple craniosynostosis is a term used when only one suture fuses prematurely.
Complex or compound craniosynostosis is used to describe premature fusion of multiple sutures.
When children with craniosynostosis, usually complex, also display other body deformities, this is termed syndromic craniosynostosis.
Raised intracranial pressure is rare with fusion of a single suture. It can occur in primary craniosynostosis when multiple sutures fuse.
Although the major morbidity is due to the abnormal shape of the skull, intracranial pressure can be elevated in primary. This occurs with a high frequency in multiple-suture synostosis and rarely with single-suture synostosis.