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Baby Born with Brain Leakage Recovers after Crucial Craniofacial Surgery

Update Date: Feb 01, 2013 06:32 AM EST

Dominic Gundrum is a really special child who has defied all odds and survived a condition so rare in the U.S. that only one or two kids are born with the condition every two to five years.

He suffers from a condition called Tessier midline facial cleft as his skull hadn't fused properly at the time of fetus development and had left a gap that leaked the contents of his brain. The leaking brain caused a golf-sized bubble on his face - a condition that's called encephalocele, reports Fox News.

Dominic's condition was first noticed by his doctors during routine ultrasound scans. His parents were told that he wouldn't survive for long

"At first we were told he would probably die within a few hours and that we should do our best to enjoy the pregnancy. Over time his prognosis got better, and the doctors agreed he'd survive birth. But after that, they had no idea what may happen to him. It was a real no man's land territory for all of us," said Mark Gundrum, his father, according to a news release from the Boston Children's Hospital.

But he did survive and began to develop normally. His parents then began to search the Internet for answers about his condition. On the Internet, they found the story of a boy from Haiti who had a similar condition and was treated by John Meara, M.D., plastic surgeon-in-chief, and Ed Smith, M.D., a neurosurgeon, from Boston Children's Hospital.

A team of 15 surgeons, specialists and hospital staff were involved in the procedure to fix Dominic's condition.

The hospital says that he is recovering well and will be monitored by the hospital staff in the future. And although Dominic's condition might affect him in the future, his parents are happy that their boy made it this far and has a chance to live and fight.

"The day Dominic was born, a group of friends had a tree planted in our yard in his honor .I remember thinking, 10 years from now, I'm either going to look at that tree and think of the son I lost, or watch him climb its branches. Right now, thanks to so many wonderful people at Boston Children's and beyond, I'm excited to watch him hanging from that tree as they both grow bigger and stronger," said Mark. 

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