Baby born with adult-sized tongue smiles for first time after undergoing surgery
When Paisley Morrison-Johnson of Aberdeen, South Dakota, was born, it immediately became apparent that something was very wrong with her mouth.
"Her tongue filled up her whole mouth, it was very thick and protruding out of her mouth," her mom, Madison Kienow, 21, told Caters News. "Her tongue was constantly sticking out, she was always chewing on her tongue because it took up so much room."
Soon after her birth, Paisley was diagnosed with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS), a very rare overgrowth disorder which occurs in approximately 1 in 11,000 newborns.
Paisley eventually became well enough to go in public, after months of eating solely through a gastronomy tube.
Unfortunately, that brought on an entire new set of obstacles for the family -- namely, rude comments and intrusive questions from strangers.
"They would always ask me why she looked so different, and why she had such a huge tongue," Kienow said. "Doctors told us she had one of the largest tongues they had ever seen."
Kienow and her partner, Shannon Morrison-Johnson, 23, hoped their daughter's mouth would grow to accommodate her overgrown tongue –- but unfortunately, it never did.
When Paisley turned six months old, her family made the decision to go ahead with a tongue reduction surgery, where doctors cut through the middle of her tongue, and removed two inch portions from the sides.
But after the first procedure, her tongue returned to its massive original size.
Four months later, little Paisley underwent a second reduction surgery, where doctors took out an even larger amount of her tongue.
And this time, they were successful.
Paisley can now smile for the first time in her young life.
According to her parents, the 16-month-old child is just starting to enunciate sounds.
"She's like a completely new baby -- her facial features look different, she smiles a lot and she is even getting close to saying her first words," said Kienow. "We're really confident about her future."
As are we -- keep on smiling, Paisley!