Boy, 3, has skull reshaped and put back together like a JIGSAW after it fuses together and stops his brain growing
Archie diagnosed with Craniosynostosis, which effects one in 3,000 childrenCaused when skull plates fuse too early meaning brain doesn't have room to grow
11:35 GMT, 31 July 2012
A little boy has enjoyed his first game of football with his brothers after surgeons reshaped his skull and put it back together – like a jigsaw.
Archie Dodd, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, was suffering from a rare condition that meant his skull fused together.
Surgeons had to cut his skull into pieces then put it back together again like a jigsaw to prevent it compressing his brain and growing even more out of shape.
Archie Dodd (left) is now fit as a fiddle after his major operation to reshape his skull. He had to wear a helmet for six months after the surgery (right)
For six months after surgery Archie had to wear a special protective helmet and his home had to be rigged to avoid him running into tables and sharp corners.
But now the cheeky-faced three-year-old is well enough to play football for the first time with brothers Callum, 12 and Spencer, eight.
Parents Cheryl and Paul Dodd were told that if he didn’t have the op there would have been a risk of brain damage in the future, as the skull could begin to crush the brain.
Cheryl, 38, said: 'My world crashed around me when we got the diagnosis and I felt sick when I thought about the surgery.
knew there was something wrong since he was born, but we were told it
was something he would grow out of and nothing to worry about.
was the hardest decision we had to make to put Archie’s life into the
surgeons hands, and was horrible seeing what he had to go through.'
Archie had a distinctive zig-zag scar after his operation (left). The brave youngster with his father Paul (right)
Archie Dodd with his family, (L to R) brother Spencer, 8, father Paul, mother Cheryl and brother Callum, 12
On the day after his first birthday Archie was diagnosed with the condition, known as Craniosynostosis. He
was immediately referred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where
doctors ran a series of tests and X-rays, with an eye examination to
check if the brain was already under pressure.
the condition had been discovered any later the surgery would have
become more complicated, as by the age of two the skull is fully formed.
Happy and healthy: Archie's mother said 'I feel so lucky'
parents were then forced to make the agonising decision whether to put
Archie through the major surgery, involving cutting his head from ear to
ear in a zig zag.
Paul, 44, a plastics engineer, and Cheryl both stayed with Archie at his bedside while he recovered from surgery.
had to wear a helmet for six months afterwards as his skull was still
extremely fragile, and any bump could have caused serious damage.
Cheryl, a full-time mother, said: 'We knew there would be a risk of brain damage if he didn’t have the surgery and we didn’t want it to get any worse as he got older.
'I collapsed into Paul when he went into surgery, but I knew deep down it was the right thing to do.
'The scar looked horrific and when I saw him straight after I just burst into tears because of what he had been through.
'He still has to go for six monthly check ups, but after everything I feel so lucky he’s so happy and healthy now.
'To see him running around with his brothers without a care in the world is incredible.'