TAPPAN, N.Y. – After learning the shocking news that their 5-month-old daughter will need surgery on her skull, a family in Tappan has started a GoFundMe page to offset surgery and post-surgery costs and raise awareness.
When Christine and Mike Reynolds, and their 2-year-old son, Michael, welcomed Riley on Feb. 20, they were thrilled to add to their family. After noticing that Riley's left forehead was indented and her eye was slightly closed, they brought it to the attention of various doctors and nurses shortly after her birth, then to Riley’s pediatrician, who believed that she would grow out of it.
After two months, the doctors realized Riley wouldn't grow out of it – she had craniosynostosis, a condition when one or more sutures in the skull prematurely closes up. Christine and Mike found out Riley would need surgery to correct the problem.
"I was told Riley needed surgery when I was alone with Riley at her two-month appointment. I felt numb and couldn't really process what was going on," said Christine.
Christine and Mike discussed their options with various doctors and were told there were two surgery options for Riley -- one minor and one major.
"I personally was leaning towards the less invasive endoscopic surgery just so I didn't have to put her through so much, and we could fix the problem sooner," said Christine. "But after listening to three different surgeons and their success stories with the cranio vault reconstruction -- and that she would only need one surgery -- my husband and I decided this would be the best for her in the long run."
Riley is scheduled for a cranio vault reconstruction on Wednesday, Sept. 7. During a cranio vault reconstruction, the skull is cut to release the fused suture, then stabilized with dissolvable plates and screws. Sometimes subsequent surgeries are needed, and Riley will be followed by doctors for years to make sure her skull is growing normally
The family has created a GoFundMe page for Riley to help raise funds for surgery and post-surgery care and to bring awareness to craniosynostosis.
"We were hesitant in reaching out to social media because we are both hardworking, independent people and we thought we could get by with what we have and with the love, support and financial care from our families," said Christine. "But my brother brought it to our attention that putting it on social media would not only raise additional funds for her future medical costs, but to also spread awareness at the same time."
Click here to donate to the Reynolds family or to learn more about Riley.