Baby born with bladder on outside of his body got to go home after surgery

A baby born with his bladder outside his abdomen underwent a delicate procedure that required a whole medical team’s expertise


Mallory Parris' son underwent major surgery when he was just 5 months old.

Jackson’s bladder was on the outside of his abdomen, a condition known as "bladder exstrophy."

"Having to hand your 5-month-old off to a nurse and even though we 100 percent trust our doctors and know he's in perfect hands, that's just really hard to do," said Mallory. "It was the longest day of my entire life."

The long, complex surgery to fix the condition was handled by a team of specialists.

"We actually cut the bone," explained Dr. Joseph Davey, Chief of Pediatric Orthopedics for Oklahoma Children's Hospital. "That lets us bring the front together and it lets their reconstruction heal better. We put another device on called an external fixator, which allows us to hold it in that position."

It was a tough time for Mallory, who said, "I was prepared as you can be prepared. I did the research. I joined the support groups online. But nothing prepares you to see your kid like that. Nothing prepares you to see him pumped full of fluids and white as a ghost with tubes coming out of his body."

Due to the complicated nature of the surgery, the baby had to spend six weeks in the hospital. Because of that, Jackson couldn’t be moved.

"He just had bars that were coming out of his hips that just kind of stuck out five inches from his hip bone, I'd guess," Mallory said, adding, "I couldn't pick him up. I could touch him, but I couldn't hold him, I couldn't console him. I couldn't, you know, when your baby's crying in pain and there's nothing you can do."

Specialists spent time with the baby to keep him calm and as comfortable as possible. Jackson made it through, but he will have to have surgery again in the future.

His mom explained, "It's something that he'll always be considered to have even though his bladder is now on the inside."

Mallory was overjoyed that her little boy was able to come home in time for the holidays.

"I'm obviously super grateful that he's doing so well, that he's here to begin with," she exclaimed. "My most exciting thing is to finally have Christmas with the baby that we wanted for seven years and he's finally here."

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