Child born with brain chunk outside his skull continues to defy all odds

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BOSTON — Doctors told Dustin and Sierra Yoder that their son, Bentley, would be “‘incompatible with life.”

He was born with a rare condition called encephalocele, which caused his skull to form incorrectly, forcing part of his brain to grow up and out of his skull.

The Yoders expected to bury tiny Bentley shortly after his birth; he was given a grim chance of survival.

They were wrong.

When he was 7 months old, Bentley underwent surgery by Dr. John Meara at Boston Children’s Hospital.

STAT News reported that Meara planned to slice Bentley’s skull in several places and spread it out to make more room in his head.

Meara then planned to take to segments of skull elsewhere and overlap them at the top of Bentley’s head to close the encephalocele.

The surgery and additional follow-up surgeries have been successful.

Although he is expected to have developmental delays, Bentley’s parents are determined to help make his life as normal as possible.

“Nobody has any idea of what this kid is actually going to be able to do, because he’s so different,” Sierra said. “Even the fact that he’s meeting some of his milestones is a blessing, so we’re just taking it one day at a time.”