Baby born with abnormally large tongue finally able to smile

Baby born with abnormally large tongue finally able to smile

"Her tongue was constantly sticking out, she was always chewing on her tongue because it took up so much room."

A baby’s smile is one of the greatest things in the world. That’s why for Baby Paisley’s parents, it was very heartbreaking to see their child not even able to smile because of her abnormally large tongue.

Her tongue was more than twice its normal size

Baby Paisley Morrison – Johnson was born with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS), a condition that made her tongue grow to more than twice its normal size. It left her unable to smile and breathe on her own, and was also fed through a tube for the first six months of her life.

According to her mother, Madison Kienow, 21, “Her tongue was constantly sticking out, she was always chewing on her tongue because it took up so much room.” She added that when she was old enough to go out with them, strangers would stare at their baby and make comments on the size of her tongue.

Her mother adds, “They would always ask me why she looked so different, and why she had such a huge tongue. Doctors told us she had one of the largest tongues they had ever seen.”

The first surgery wasn’t successful

When Paisley turned 6 months old, she was scheduled for her first tongue reduction surgery. The doctors cut through her tongue and took out two inch portions from the sides of her tongue. Sadly, the first surgery wasn’t successful as her tongue grew back to the original size.

After 4 months, doctors did another surgery, this time taking out a much more significant portion of her tongue. According to Madison, “Since her second surgery, her tongue hasn’t grown back as much and it isn’t affecting her eating or drinking out of a bottle, which is great.”

“We’re really confident about her future”

Baby Paisley is now 16 months old, and doctors have reported that she’s doing well. She can now breathe properly as well as eat on her own, and they’re confident that she will soon be able to speak.

large tongue

Photo from: Madison Kienow

Her mother said, “She seems like a really happy baby. We’re really confident about her future.”

In spite of her progress, doctors will still continue to monitor her until she turns 8, since children diagnosed with BWS have a 7-25% chance of developing cancerous tumors.

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How to prepare your child for surgery

While it might be heartbreaking for a parent to hear that their child will be undergoing surgery, knowing more about what to do and what to expect should help both you and your child feel less anxious about the upcoming surgery. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Ask your doctor questions – Knowing more about your kid’s condition, and why a surgery is needed is very important. It helps you curb your fears and understand more about why your child has to undergo surgery.
  • Explain why they need the surgery – For younger children, it’s important to explain the importance of why they have to undergo surgery. You should make them feel at ease and let them know why it’s necessary.
  • Curb their fears – Most children get scared when they hear that they will be undergoing surgery. Even adults still get scared before undergoing surgery. That’s why it’s important for you as a parent to make them feel safe and secure.
  • Explain what’s going to happen – You need to explain the procedure to your child so that they understand what’s involved. Make sure to tell them that it’s safe, and perfectly fine. They need to feel at ease so that they don’t have any anxiety going into surgery.
  • Help them with the recovery process – After the surgery, you should do your best to be at your child’s side. This will immensely help them with the recovery process, make them feel at ease, and help them get better sooner.

READ: What all parents need to know about Hand Foot Mouth Disease


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