Brave Derbyshire boy who had his skull entirely rebuilt by doctors is raising money for the hospital which saved his life

A brave schoolboy whose skull was put back together 'like a jigsaw' by surgeons to prevent his brain being crushed is raising cash for the hospital which saved his life.

By Bradley Stokes
Monday, 21st March 2022, 2:43 pm

Daniel Bradley, 10, was just three-months-old when he was diagnosed with the rare and life-threatening condition Craniosynostosis.

It meant one or more of the joints in his skull had fused together leaving not enough room for his brain to grow.

The irregular skull shape can crush parts of the brain which can lead to learning difficulties, eye problems and ultimately death.

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Daniel out training for his upcoming triathlon fundraiser and (right) in 2012 with the zig-zag scars on his head after surgery.

Surgeons had to painstakingly dismantle and rebuild Daniel's skull piece-by-piece during a gruelling nine hour operation at Birmingham Children's Hospital in 2012.

Incredibly, an artificial gap was created in Daniel's head during the life-saving procedure in order for his to skull fuse together as he grew older.

The courageous youngster went on to make a full recovery and lead a normal life following the surgery, which left him with a giant zig-zag scar across his head.

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Daniel at Birmingham Children Hospital in 2012 after having surgery after his skull bones fused too quickly.

Inspired by the Tokyo Olympics last year, the pals will do a 500 metre swim, followed by a three-mile run and a six-mile bike on April 24.

Daniel, from Alfreton, said: “When I was one, I had an operation on my head because there wasn’t enough space for my brain to grow.

“Doctors had to rebuild my skull just a week after my first birthday. Without that operation, I would have died.

“So, to say thank you, and to help other children at the hospital, I came up with the idea to do a triathlon.

Daniel on his third birthday receiving a Derby County Football t-shirt.

“I got the idea from watching the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021. I told my mum I was going to do a triathlon for Birmingham’s Children Hospital where they looked after me when I was a baby.

“I am doing it with my friend, Finley. We have the triathlon booked for April 24 this year and we have been training together.

“Me and Finley are going to do a 20-length swim, a three-mile run and a six-mile bike ride around Shipley and Alfreton.

“I have been training at my local swimming pool and they have closed a lane especially for me.

Daniel at Birmingham Children Hospital in 2012 after having surgery after his skull bones fused too quickly.

"We have been out running too, although not too hard as we want to try and save ourselves for the day of the event.

“We are raising money for the hospital and for Ronald McDonald Housing Charity who looked after me and my family while I was poorly in hospital.

“All of our teachers, family and friends have been really helpful and I am really pleased with how much money we have raised so far. I really appreciate it.

“I am really enjoying doing the training at the moment, I do want to be a footballer but I plan to do more triathlons.

“I will probably give myself a rest after this triathlon, but I want I want to do some more in future."

A GoFundMe page that was set up by Daniel’s family with a target of £1,000, has so far raised nearly £3,500.

Daniel’s mum, Victoria, 38, a beautician, said she has been left incredibly proud by the efforts of her son and his friend.

The mum-of-two added: “Daniel had to undergo a nine-hour surgery on his head at that hospital following his Craniosynostosis diagnosis.

“We were told his brain would grow, but his skull would crush his brain because he had no room for the brain to grow with his skull – it fused too quickly.

“Surgeons broke his skull into pieces and move his forehead to the top of his head which has taken away his eyebrow bones.

“If he hadn’t of had the surgery, he would have died.

"Thankfully, the surgery was a success and he has managed to live normal life since then. He was up and about just hours after the operation.

“When he went to nursery, he was very set in his ways, and we thought he may have autism but we were later told this behaviour is common in people who have surgery in younger years.

“As he has grown up, he is completely different kid. He loves his football; he is a big Derby County fan.

“Daniel is really enjoying training and he has talked about doing some more in the future. We are beyond proud.

“We are so thankful to everyone who has helped out, and for everyone who looked after Daniel when he was a baby.

"We cannot thank them enough and were totally blown away by all the donations.

“With the support of everybody donating towards their triathlon, the money will be going to a great place and a great cause.

“Birmingham Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Housing Charity supported us when Daniel was poorly and this is Daniel’s way to say thank you."