INDIANAPOLIS – A young boy needed a rare surgery, and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital stepped up and performed it for free.
Liam Pelletier’s parents are missionaries who have been teaching at a theological seminary in Zimbabwe, Africa for the past seven years. After welcoming their third child into the world, the Pelletiers noticed something was wrong.
At 14 months old, Liam couldn’t crawl or roll-over yet.
Concerned, the Pelletiers made an appointment to visit their pediatrician in Zimbabwe. A CT scan of Liam’s head confirmed a diagnosis of craniosynostosis, a birth defect in which one or more of the joints in the skull close early – before the brain is fully formed.
In addition, the pediatric neurologist believed that Liam may have brain atrophy, or shrinkage of the brain. Hesitant to perform a corrective craniofacial surgery, the surgeon recommended Liam go back to Zimbabwe and begin physical therapy along with a follow-up MRI.
In a trip back to the United States to visit family for Christmas, the Pelletiers made an appointment with Dr. Jason Blocksom, pediatric craniofacial surgeon, and Ronald Young, pediatric neurosurgeon, at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent for a second opinion.
The physicians not only agreed to perform the surgery to reconstruct Liam’s skull to allow his brain to continue to develop as he grows, they wrote off the medical bills completely offering 100 percent charity care.