A young girl born with no lower jaw had 11 different surgeries to rebuild her face….Lexi Melton is, in many ways, your average seven-year-old girl. The youngster from Seattle, Washington jumps, plays and has a ‘spunky and outgoing’ personality.However, Lexi suffers from a rare congenital condition called auriculo- condylar syndrome. Click to read more
As a result, she was born with a healthy body and brain – but no lower jaw.
Since her birth in November 2008, she has undergone 11 surgeries to reconstruct her face.
But her ordeal is not over yet.
Her newly fitted lower jaw is not able to grow with Lexi, and as a result she will have to face at least three more operations until she is fully grown.
Yet, her mother, Lisa Melton, from Seattle, told Daily Mail Online: ‘Her personality is so strong and vibrant that she shined through all of that.’
Doctors noticed something was amiss nearly 28 weeks into Mrs Melton’s pregnancy.
She had given birth to a healthy baby boy, Josh, just 16 months earlier – but this time, something was different.
Scans revealed the unborn baby was unable to swallow Mrs Melton’s amniotic fluid, causing a fluid build-up in her uterus.
A team of medical experts from Seattle Children’s Hospital revealed Lexi was suffering developmental problems with her jaw that was stopping her from swallowing.
They warned that the problem would prevent her from being able to breathe on her own after birth.
Mrs Melton, 46, told Daily Mail Online: ‘It was very terrifying. The doctors were pretty optimistic about her ability to survive – but of course nobody could give any guarantees.’
Lexi was born six weeks early on November 18, 2008 – with her lower jaw completely missing.
Doctors determined that the little girl was suffering from a rare congenital condition called auriculocondylar syndrome.
Her body and mind were ‘normal’ – but because of two faulty genes, her jaw was malformed.
Dr Richard Hopper, division chief of plastic surgery and surgical director of the Craniofacial Center at Seattle Children’s, is one of the doctors who has cared for Lexi over the years.
He told Daily Mail Online: ‘We’re one of the largest craniofacial centers in the world – and we’ve only seen this three times.’
In total, there has been 24 reported cases of auriculocondylar syndrome – ever, he said.