The Deason family’s journey with Microtia

Kealy Deason, pictured here with her grandmother, Claudia Deason, has been a trouper throughout the process of reconstructive ear surgery known as Microtia.

Kealy Deason, pictured here with her grandmother, Claudia Deason, has been a trouper throughout the process of reconstructive ear surgery known as Microtia.

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

“When our daughter Kealy was born, we were thrilled to count 10 fingers and 10 toes. But then the doctors noticed her right ear was underdeveloped. After much research, Keith and I learned the condition was known as Microtia,” begins the blog Embree Deason updates online as the family travels the long journey through reconstructive ear surgery.

The Deasons chose the rib-graft method, an option that required waiting until Kealy turned 5 and weighed at least 40 pounds.

Cartilage from between Kealy’s ribs was used as a framework for her ear and was carved during the surgery.

The first surgery was performed on Nov. 20 at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“After surgery, Kealy did experience pain,” Embree said, “but it was managed. She had a large bandage around her head and two small drains from her ear.”

Her rib graft was also bandaged. The drains were removed before she left the hospital the following day.

On the first day home, Kealy ate ice cream, watched “Frozen,” read books and played with her new toys and games.

Not long afterward, she finally felt well enough to have a birthday party for her new ear.

“By Saturday,” her mother said, “you would never know she had surgery, but for the bandages.”

That was the child I saw happily coloring beside her grandmother at the Helena Kiwanis meeting the following Tuesday.

The following day in Atlanta, the stitches were removed and everyone got to see the new ear! Then, a new head wrap was applied for three more days.

“It looks amazing. It truly is a work of art,” Embree Deason said.“The first surgery is the foundation for the shaping of the new ear. So for now, the little ear is still present. We joke that she now has three ears! The second surgery in two months will use her existing ear lobe from the little ear and move it, attaching it to the new ear. I think it’s cool that some of the little ear will still be a part of her.”

To see more, go to Posthope.org/our-journey-with-microtia/journal.