GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Presler twins may look identical, but they're actually fraternal. Regardless, they will soon be easy to tell apart as the two are walking away with personalized helmets from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital to aid in their severe plagiocephaly and brachycephaly diagnosis.
The two boys, Edgar and Vincent, have flat areas on their the sides and down the middle-back of their heads, a consequence of positioning when they were in the womb.
Mary Free Bed Orthotist and Cranial Team Lead, Melissa Cordial-Stout says babies who share wombs and or are premature have a higher risk of developing plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. The Presler twins share both characteristics.
"When there are two or three babies in there and they're just squishing each other, they don't have the same amount of room to develop," Cordial-Stout explained.
Jennifer Chichester, the boys' mother, said she first noticed something was wrong when they were just a few months old.
"They were just constantly, especially Vincent, turning their heads to the left, and they were favoring that side, and it just didn't seem right. Every time I tried to correct them to the center, they were back over," Chichester said.
She was eventually referred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and it was clear the boys would need helmets to stop the pattern of their growth thus far.
"It definitely sucks knowing that there's nothing that I can personally do, except bring them here to get help, but I have a lot of faith in Mary Free Bed," Chichester said.
With a plethora of colors and patterns to choose from, Chichester said she picked out the boys' helmet designs based on their personalities.
"Mr. Vincent here is getting the skull and crossbones, because it reminded me of a pirate, and he just has that swagger personality. Mr. Edgar here is getting the punk rock one because he's just kind of a little punk," she joked.
After fitting the helmets to perfection, Cordial-Stout taught a tutorial on how to properly put them on and take them off. The twins will be easing into the new lifestyle, starting with just a few hours of wear per day and adding on. The family will be back at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in about two months for a progress report.
"I'm stoked to see how much stronger they'll get. They're already such strong boys. I'm like after this, they're gonna be like little ninjas or something," Chichester said.
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