Little Sophia Morgan was born with a rare condition which causes the bones of the skull to close before the brain is properly formed.
It is commonly referred to as “Mercedes Benz craniosynostosis” because sometimes the bone knits together in the shape of the motor brand’s logo.
Normally a baby’s skull has small gaps in it to allow it to move and grow during birth.
But 14-month-old Sophia has been forced to undergo an intricate five-and-a-half-hour op to cut a zig-zag shape across her head to “break” her skull so it could be re-shaped.
And her mum, bar-worker Katie, 26, has revealed the heart-wrenching moment her daughter emerged from intricate surgery to reveal the harrowing crisscross of scars.
She said: “The time that Sophie was under anaesthetic were some of the longest hours of my life – it was so difficult.
“When she came round her face was swollen and she couldn’t see. I just burst into tears because she was crying.
“She has a zig-zag scar across her head then they had to break her skull to ease the pressure on the brain. It was so difficult and nerve-wracking to sit there and wait.”
Sophia was born last year and her frantic parents noticed she had an “irregular shaped” head.
For weeks nurses visited their Glamorgan home to take measurements and when she turned six months old she underwent an MRI scan.
It wasn’t until specialists carried out an X-Ray that they discovered the tot was suffering from craniosynostosis, a birth defect wherein the baby’s skull doesn’t develop correctly.
This can affect the baby’s brain, and also lead to its head being misshapen.
And last month, on July 5, Sophia went on the operating table where she had sections of her skull removed to ease the pressure on her brain.
Her family now face an anxious wait to see if the bone will knit back together naturally or if she will need further surgery to have plates fitted.
Katie said: “She’s a really happy girl, she never sits still, but this has been so hard for her. She’s scared of nurses and doctors now and she cries when she sees them.”
Sophia is now receiving treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where health chiefs are bidding to raise £3.65million for a pioneering rare disease unit.