The chances are about one in a billion, 14 month old Kang Kang, a Chinese boy, has been born with a very rare transverse facial cleft - his skull has a large horizontal section missing, making him look like he is wearing a mask.
Mother Yi Xilian describes the experience "My family didn't allow me to see my son at the beginning, and I pleaded with my husband to let me have a look. Before they passed me the baby, they told me 'don't be sad, don't be sad', but when I saw my son, I collapsed."
Yi said during pregnancy she had three pregnancy checkups in Xiangxiang City Women and Children's Hospital, but doctors told her that the results were all normal.
Professor Wang said it's the first such case he ever met. "It's different from a cleft lip or cleft palate; it's a facial cleft. Not only his face muscles are cleft, but the inside bones are cleft." Professor Wang said judging from the current situation the boy is only suffering from the facial cleft, and his intelligence should be normal.
Professor Wang said Kang Kang will require reconstructive surgery, two surgeries at the least. The surgeries would sew up the clefts on the surface skin, the deep muscle, and then reconstruct the facial bones.
Professor Wang said they'll try their best to resume a typical look for the baby, but as they have never seen such a case before, the results are unpredictable.