AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — Zeb Misko and his 10-month-old daughter, Charlotte, share a striking resemblance, big smiles, and matching scars.
The Arkon, Ohio family battled the same rare medical condition and overcame a dangerous surgery 27 years apart.
“It is my first Father’s Day and I have a lot to be thankful for,” said Zeb.
Ahead of Father’s Day, the Misko family says they want to encourage other parents to be proactive about the health of their baby after discovering an abnormality in their daughter that caused her head to be misshaped.
“If you notice that your child has some skull abnormalities, get it checked,” Zeb said. “You can’t be too cautious.”
He has scrapbook pictures to remind him of a grueling surgery he recovered from as a baby in 1994. Zeb said as an infant, his head began to elongate upward instead of becoming round. His parents took him to Akron Children’s Hospital where they learned of his uncommon diagnosis.
“I had Sagittal Craniosynostosis. What that is a premature closing of the top of the skull the soft spots,” he explained. “Essentially the skull just starts … instead of going round, it starts to increase up.”
Misko made a full recovery. None of his five siblings were born with the condition.
However, nearly 30 years later, soon after the birth of his daughter Charlotte, Misko and his wife Bethany realized something was wrong. As Charlotte grew, the condition became more obvious, according to her parents.
Charlotte was initially scheduled for surgery in February but was diagnosed with COVID-19 along with her dad. It forced the surgery to be pushed back one month.
Misko said the surgery lasted 9 or 10 hours at the Cleveland Clinic. Months later, Charlotte continues to do well.
“We’re so relieved to be on the other side of the surgery and for her to be healthy meeting all of her milestones,” Bethany said.
Charlotte is now an active and vocal baby, and her parents say they are grateful for the team at the Cleveland Clinic who helped her make a full recovery.
“She’s truly a blessing every day,” Zeb said. “When she wakes up, she’s smiling; when she goes to sleep, she’s smiling.”