It takes 39 days for human skin cells to generate, which was time baby Kingsley didn’t have.
That’s because he was born with his bowels and liver outside his body with nothing but a thin membrane to protect them. He needed to grow his own skin around them in order to survive.
“It was very scary,” his mom Krystal Taylor recalls. “I went through a big period of doubt because the condition is so rare.”
Medical teams monitored the baby’s development. With his bowel and liver growing outside his body, there was a chance his other organs would grow too big, or not grow at all. There was also a high risk of other abnormalities that could result in death. Fortunately, none of those scenarios played out in Kingsley’s case.
“We went from ‘I don’t know if we’re going to meet him’ to ‘let’s give him a name,’” explains Krystal. “It was life-changing.”
At 33 weeks, Kingsley was delivered at Regina General Hospital by C-section, and was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where he was placed in a plastic bag from his toes to his chest, to protect his exposed organs. His liver and bowels were in a membrane sac, which helped his skin know where to grow. Instead of surgery, a special silver benzoate solution was painted onto Kingsley’s skin to help the skin grow enough to cover all his organs.
“We were seeing his skin grow right before our eyes every day,” explains Krystal. “His skin now covers his organs. He looks like the rest of the world.”
Kingsley stayed a total of 67 days in the NICU. Today, he’s developing under the watchful eyes of his medical team at the pediatric outpatient clinic.
“They help me find anything that could potentially come up in his condition,” Krystal explains. “They hear me, we talk about options, which one is most feasible for him, and we take action.”
Kingsley is at high risk of bowel obstruction and Krystal says a lot of pain and suffering is prevented by medical imaging.
“We know we don’t need exploratory surgery. He’s avoided so many pokes because of a simple diagnostic scan,” Krystal explains. “Kingsley couldn’t have even been diagnosed, and we probably wouldn’t have met him, if not for the technology.”
“Regina’s NICU sees approximately 500 fragile babies each year, all of whom need all the help they can get in overcoming unimaginable obstacles,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “It is essential we continue to invest in life-saving equipment for the NICU, now and in the future.”
To learn more about the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care, click here to watch a short video.