While most children her age are enjoying the summer by taking vacations with their families, spending time at the park and library or just hanging out around the house, Scarlett Burciaga has spent her summer break having surgery — again. And unfortunately, this surgery won’t be her last.
At a mere age 8, Burciaga has been through more surgeries than most adults — including 13 surgeries the first year of her life. Her first set of surgeries took place in Jacksonville, Fla., and current surgeries are taking place in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Burciaga has Crouzon Syndrome and Craniosynostosis — both diseases affect the skull.
Burciaga lives in Tazewell, Tenn. with her family and attends Springdale Elementary School with the help of a full-time nurse. Those who know the young girl can attest to the fact that she does not let her illness affect her life. Burciaga is always smiling, giggling and playing like any other 8-year-old girl.
Burciaga’s mother Katrina Massengill says her daughter will continue to have surgeries until she stops growing.
“Each is different and will take a different amount of time,” said Massengill. “There will be more advancing the forehead, expanding the roof of her mouth and so on.”
Massengill does not know yet if her daughter will get to return to school next month or will need to be home-schooled for a while. Massengill has set up a gofundme account for those who would like to help with the expenses of the surgeries and keep up with her daughters surgeries. Those interested can simply visit www.gofundme.com and look up Scarlett’s Surgeries.
Reina P. Cunningham may be reached at 606-302-9100 or on Twitter @ReinaMDN.