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Baby battling brain condition left with ‘devil horns’ following surgery [photos]

A baby born with an extremely rare medical condition has been left with a skull shaped like devil horns following surgery to reduce pressure on his brain.

Clyne Solane, a 22-month-old baby from the Philippines, was born with a condition called hydranencephaly, which meant he had a small brain and a skull filled with fluid.

Clyne underwent an operation in March to relieve the pressure on his brain, however due to complications with the surgery parts of his skull collapsed in the places where his brain hadn’t formed. The result was a misshapen skull with pronounced ridges that resemble devil horns.

Since then, the condition has become more pronounced and now, Clyne must undergo more surgery at the Philippines Children's Medical Center in Pasig, to reconstruct the shape of his skull. The complications of Clyne’s condition have taken a severe toll on his single mother Justine Gatarin, 21, who says she is worried he is too weak to survive another operation.

“I don't want to proceed with it for now because I am afraid that my baby is not yet strong enough ,” said Gatarin to the Daily Mail. “This is why I am having a hard time making a decision. If we don't do it, his head will look like that for the rest of his life.”

“Some people say his head resembles devil horns, but to us there's no doubt he is an angel. It breaks my heart to see him suffering,” she added.

Hydranencephaly is an extremely rare condition that develops in gestation and prevents the baby’s brain from fully developing and also causes their head to grow to an enlarged size. The incurable condition can cause disability, intellectual problems, seizures and impaired vision. Clyne already needs assistance to breath and must be fed through a tube.

Family and friends of Clyne and his mother are using social media to raise much-needed funds for the toddler’s medical expenses. Justine said the family has sold the majority of their possessions to pay for the operation, but his continuing medical care is expensive.

“We sold almost everything we own to have enough money for the operation. But even after the operation we still have to go back to the hospital regularly,” she said.

“The tube in his neck which allows him to breathe needs to be replaced every six months. I am sad to see my baby suffering like this.”

Justine says she is hopeful Clyne will live to be a teenager, as other babies born with the condition have done in the past. It is uncommon for those born with hydranencephaly to live to adulthood – in fact most die in the womb or in the months after birth. Although the exact causes of hydranencephaly are unknown, it is believed to be an inherited disorder, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

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