Paisley Morrison-Johnson, a baby from South Dakota, can finally smile after undergoing life-saving surgery to address her enlarged tongue, which posed a choking hazard.
Paisley was born with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS), a rare overgrowth disorder affecting approximately one in every 11,000 births worldwide.
Her tongue grew to more than twice the size of her mouth, a condition known as macroglossia, shocking even the doctors who treated her. The abnormally large tongue caused breathing, feeding, and speech difficulties, necessitating Paisley’s feeding through a gastronomy tube during her first six months, told The Sun.
Despite hopes that Paisley’s mouth would adjust to accommodate her enlarged tongue, it continued to grow back even after initial reduction surgery.
However, six months ago, she underwent a second tongue reduction procedure, resulting in the removal of more than six inches of muscle. As a result, Paisley, now 16 months old, has experienced her first smiles and has begun making sounds that indicate her progression toward speaking her first words.
Paisley’s mother, Madison Kienow, expressed relief and joy at the positive changes in her daughter’s life. Previously, Paisley’s constantly protruding tongue attracted attention and made feeding difficult.
Strangers often stared and made comments about her appearance. Madison hopes that the reduction of surgeries will eliminate the need for further interventions, although doctors continue to monitor Paisley for potential risks associated with BWS, such as the development of cancerous tumors.
Regular ultrasounds and bloodwork are scheduled every three months until Paisley reaches eight years of age, after which the risk decreases significantly. Despite the challenges posed by BWS, Paisley’s parents are optimistic about her future and are dedicated to ensuring her well-being and happiness.