Peter Byakatonda is from a small remote village in Uganda. He was born with Crouzon’s Syndrome, which is causes bizarre things to happen to the skull. With this disease, the skull bones fuse too early. His skull was gradually growing into a cone shape, squashing his growing brain, and ruining his vision.
The disease can be corrected before a baby is three months, but Peter was too far from any such medical treatment. Fortunately, he was flown to Dallas, Texas, and had surgeries on his skull, by a leading surgeon, which not only corrected this tragic head formation, but saved his very life.
Dr Kenneth Salyer, the renowned specialized surgeon who performed the operation on Petero explained, “Petero has ended up with a steeple-shaped skull because this was the weakest area of the skull. So the brain grew up instead of forward. This can result in constriction of the brain to the point where there may be herniation at the base of the brain and death”.
Dr. Salyer heads a charity called The World Craniofacial Foundation, which funded Petero’s round trip and critical skull operations. Dr. Salyer and his charity aid 75 children per year with no charge.
Peter had three radical and delicate surgeries over the past few years. The surgery team had to remove the top half his skull in the first operation, and install a metal halo to keep his head still. That was removed after nine weeks. In a later surgery, the team adjusted his eyes to face forward, and a few more adjustments for his growth.
The first surgery was reportedly in 2008. Now, in 2011, Petero is back home in Uganda, and living a normal life. People like Dr. Salyer are in places around the world, and often times only a few people know of their magnanimous humanitarian contributions to our human family.