Baby born with brain growing into his nose


A baby boy whose brain grew inside his nose has been dubbed the ‘real-life Pinocchio’ by his proud mum who has hit back at mean comments from strangers, says

Ollie Trezise, from Maesteg, Wales, was born with a rare condition which caused his brain to grow through a crack in his skull into his nose – making it stick out like the Disney character, Pinocchio.

As baby Ollie grew, so did his nose – forcing the 21-month-old to undergo several painful surgeries to enable him to breathe.

Despite a successful operation, his 22-year-old mum Amy Poole is not very happy because the brave child is now bombarded with cruel comments from strangers, who say he is ‘ugly’ and ‘should never have been born’.

The housewife mum-of-two said: “It’s absolutely heart-breaking. Once, a woman told me I should never have given birth to him. I nearly burst into tears. To me, Ollie is perfect. He is my little real-life Pinocchio and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Amy first discovered that something was different with Ollie at her 20-week scan, when doctors told her he had unexpected soft tissue growing on his face.

However, she was still shocked when she gave birth to him at Cardiff University Hospital in February 2014.

Amy, who has since split from Ollie’s dad, said: “When they gave me Ollie to hold, I was so surprised that I almost couldn’t speak. He was so tiny, but there was this enormous golf-ball sized lump on his nose.

“At first I wasn’t sure how I would cope. But I knew that I would love him no matter what he looked like.”

An MRI scan later confirmed that the lump was an encephalocele, which is a defect that causes the brain to grow through a hole in the skull, creating a protruding sac.

In Ollie’s case the sac had grown on his nose, causing it to stick out.

Doctors told a terrified Amy that they needed to operate on Ollie to open up his nasal passage and enable him to breathe.

Amy said: “I was so scared to let Ollie undergo such major surgery. He was so fragile, and I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him.

In November 2014, Ollie underwent the successful two-hour operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The surgery involved cutting open Ollie’s skull to remove the excess sac of brain fluid and rebuild his nose.

Amy said: “After the operation, Ollie had a huge zig-zag scar across his head. He must have been in so much pain, but he just kept smiling and laughing.”

“His positivity made it so much easier for me.”

Now fully recovered, Ollie is a bubbly little boy who loves splashing in his paddling pool and playing with his four-year-old sister, Annabelle.

Amy is now keen to spread awareness of the condition to prevent other children from being bullied.

She said: “I don’t want other kids to face the nasty comments that Ollie has, and I think the best way to combat this is by educating people.

Ollie will need further operations in the future, but doctors are waiting to see how his skull develops before performing any more invasive surgery.


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Brian Okoth
Story By Brian Okoth
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