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This is my daughter’s skull. The soft spot babies have when they’re born isn’t supposed to be that big.

“Do you want a boy or girl this time?” It didn’t matter who asked. I’d always answer the same. “Healthy.”

I met the daughter I prayed for on April 20, 2020. Mara got her father’s looks and more. Notably, a gene mutation that led to Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome and craniosynostosis.

Here’s what that means: The bones in her skull fused before birth, and her brain needs more room to grow. Now, surgeons need to cut open the front of her head, remove a piece of her skull, reshape it, and put it back together.

On Nov. 3, my wife and I won’t be paying attention to what the rest of the world is following. Rather, we’ll be at the hospital as our 6-month-old girl undergoes a 6-hour skull surgery. …


Will Hanlon

Husband. Dad. Fan of writing, baseball, cigars, and beer. University of Dayton grad from Youngstown, Ohio, living in York, Pa.

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