Published On: Mon, Oct 17th, 2016

Baby born with adult-sized tongue finally smiled after surgery


SIOUX FALLS, US: Paisley Morrison-Johnson, a 16-month-old girl born with an adult-sized tongue in South Dakota, is “doing phenomenally” after she underwent a life-changing tongue reduction surgery, her mother said.

The baby’s oversized tongue was a result of Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, a genetic condition that can cause abnormal growth of specific parts of the body. The rare condition affects about one in 13,700 newborns worldwide.

Paisley’s mom, Madison Kienow, told BuzzFeed News she was unaware of her daughter’s condition until she had an emergency C-section two months before the due date.

“During my C-section, they got her out and noticed that her tongue was huge,” Kienow said.

Doctors immediately whisked Paisley away to put her on a ventilator, thinking her tongue might constrict her airways.

“I never got to see her, touch her, hear her cry [when she was first born],” Kienow said.

Paisley spent three and a half months at an NICU in Sioux Falls, and received her diagnosis there.

baby 2

At a doctor’s recommendation, Paisley received her first tongue reduction surgery when she was six months old, followed by a second one at 13 months of age.

“The surgeon was like, ‘This is the largest tongue I’ve ever seen, especially for this small of an infant,’” Kienow said.

And “it’s been so much better” since the surgery, the mother added.

“I don’t have to worry about her choking, she has started to say words, she can eat adult food, she’s starting to get her teeth now,” Kienow said. “She took her first step five days ago.”

And the surgery had another sweet effect — Paisley can now smile, which Kienow called “the best feeling.”


“She is growing up, and she has so much spunk and personality and love,” Kienow said. “She’s just amazing.”

The original post appeared in BuzzFeed News.

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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