Zavier shows courage way beyond his years

If you’re a parent, chances are that you’ve likely experienced that queasy and anxious feeling of concern over your child. Maybe it was a frightening fall, or a suspicious looking bump on the forehead. In most cases, Dr Google was wrong and it was just another case of kids being kids.

But sometimes, a parent’s intuition kicks in when that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach doesn’t go away. On the rare occasion you do find yourself in that position, a brilliant team of world-class doctors and nurses will be waiting at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

In 2018, parents Griff and Billiarna found themselves in this situation when they noticed something wasn’t quite right with their first-born son Zavier.

The little ridge on their baby’s head wasn’t a loveable and harmless quirk, but something much more serious - craniosynostosis. A condition where the skull bones are abnormally fused together. This gives a very different shaped head and can sometimes lead to increased pressure on the brain.

Thanks to supporters like you, 18-month-old Zavier received world-class care when he underwent a five-hour surgery to correct this condition. This type of procedure is quite extensive and involves removing and replacing the bones of the skull and upper eye sockets. During the recovery, as with all our patients, the swelling can be severe and little Zavier couldn’t open his eyes for several days.

But now, 12 months on, little Zavier is a proud big brother and loves spending time kicking a ball around with dad. The only reminder of his trauma is a zigzag like scar worn in the shape of a crown.

A crown that’s only deserving of a courageous little warrior like Zavier.

In honour of his son’s incredible bravery, Griff eagerly shaved his head and got a matching tattoo!

Griff shares, “I wanted to make sure Zavier never feels self-conscious and always wears his scar with pride! And it worked, Zavier not only loves it but thinks mine is even cooler! He often kisses it ‘better’.”

Help sick kids like Zavier.

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