Brave girl, 3, says ‘I’ve got a new head’ after major reconstructive surgery

Little flower girl Ava Carlin has an extra reason to beam with joy at her parents’ wedding – she can show off her new look.

The three-year-old was born with a rare condition which would have left her with a misshapen head and possible brain damage.

During the nine-and-a-half hour op at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital, Ava had the bones in her skull broken into pieces and reconstructed.

The three-year-old underwent the complex procedure after she was born with craniosynostosis.

The rare condition means a baby’s skull does not develop properly and can lead to an unusual shape head.

Left untreated, it can also cause brain damage.


Proud parents Jenna and Matthew Carlin made sure she had fully recovered before tying the knot.

And it was worth the wait.

Ava posed with her brother Luca, seven, at Le Petit Château in Otterburn, Northumberland following a dream ceremony.

Jenna, 31, of Stockton-on-Tees, told how they now joke about her ‘new head’.

”Ava just thinks it’s funny,” she said. “We celebrate the anniversary of her operation and she asks, ‘Is it my head’s birthday yet?

“She gets one extra. We waited until she was well, it was something for us to look forward to.

"We said ‘mum is going to be a princess, do you want to be a princess too?’ She was absolutely amazing, a little angel.”



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