PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Children with under-developed facial bones, often require years of reconstructive surgeries, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia does a lot of these operations and helps children and their families cope with some difficult situations.
Five-year-old Logan Killeen spends a lot of time at CHOP, where they call him “The Mayor.” He has Treacher Collins syndrome, the same condition as the little boy in the movie “Wonder.”
Children like Logan have facial differences caused by a genetic defect.
“It was really rough when he was born, when they come in and say something is wrong, it’s the last thing you want to hear as a parent,” Nicole Killeen, Logan’s mother, said.
Children with Treacher Collins often have no ears, down-turned eyes and underdeveloped cheeks and jaws.
“To have a normal appearance is a big deal to these children,” said Dr. Scott Bartlett, chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at CHOP.
He says most children with the syndrome usually need several reconstructive surgeries.
Logan recently had surgery to create a new ear.
“We judge people, whether we say it or not, we judge people by their outward appearance,” Dr. Bartlett said.
Like many children who are different, bullies are abound and it’s something Logan’s parents keep in mind.
“Kids come up and ask, ‘Why does he look different?’ or, ‘He looks funny,’ or, ‘Where are his ears?'” Logan’s dad Matt said.
Logan, who’s had six surgeries and many more planned, is speech delayed and needs devices he wears on a headband to hear.
But his brain is just fine like any little boy his age, as he is fascinated with trains and trucks.
Logan’s parents are thrilled about the movie “Wonder,” hoping it helps people better understand their son and others like him.
“I hope people look past the outside and look at the inside, and see these kids may look a little different. Anybody may look different but it doesn’t mean they are different; they’re the same person,” Nicole said.