Indianapolis doctors perform intensive surgery on boy for free

Indianapolis doctors perform intensive surgery on boy for free
Liam Pettellier

Two Peyton Manning Children's Hospital surgeons recently gave one little boy a new skull and a new life - free of charge.

The Pettelliers were busy conducting theological mission work in Zimbabwe when they noticed something was wrong with their youngest son, Liam. They discovered the 2-year-old suffered from craniosyntosis, a rare skull deformation that requires intense reconstructive surgery.

"He was actually behind in all areas of development including language and again we thought, 'How are we gonna get help for Liam in the middle of Africa?'" said Liam's mother Kayle.

After South African doctors couldn't perform the operation, the family turned to St. Vincent pediatric surgeons for help.

On January 22, Liam underwent a four-hour surgery under the care of pediatric surgeons Drs. Jason Blocksom and Ronald Young. The pair completed the procedure successfully and, along with the hospital, wrote off all medical bills to provide the surgery at no cost.

Little Liam got a new skull. His missionary parents, who already spent so much of their time giving back to others, finally got a little back themselves.

"For someone giving that type of service, I felt it was the least I could do to offer my time to serve them," said Dr. Young.

The doctors now say Liam is healthy and recovering well. The family returns to their missionary work in Africa later this week.