By Kathy L. Collins

Recently, a baby, Layton Pedrosa, born on September 30, 2016, underwent life-saving surgery at Brandon Regional Hospital (BRH) in Brandon. Layton was born with Isolated Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS), a rare set of abnormalities that affect the head and face where there is a small lower jaw (micrognathia), a tongue that is placed further back than normal (glossoptosis) and obstruction of the airway.

According to Ricki Akers, Layton’s mother, “My pregnancy was perfect. It was completely shocking when my son was born with PRS. When he was born, he was not breathing well and was immediately taken to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). I was absolutely devastated.”

Layton was treated by Dr. Joshua R. Mitchell, M.D. Layton had to undergo a mandibular distraction. This is where a precise incision is made in both sides of the jaw bone. Both an internal and external distractor hardware are placed. Over the course of a nine-day period, the external arms were turned a small amount each morning and night. This creates a gap in which new bone can form thus expanding the jaw, bringing the tongue forward. This fixes both breathing and eating problems. According to Akers, “The external arms were taken off before Layton was discharged from the NICU. We went through an 11-week consolidation phase in which the bone grew and hardened before the internal hardware was removed on January 4.”

Dr. Mitchell, who is with Tampa Children’s ENT and is affiliated with BRH said, “Children with severe PRS and failure to thrive are fortunately fairly rare. Additionally, not all children have to undergo mandibular distraction as Layton did.” Dr. Mitchell added, “Layton’s degree of micrognathia was pretty impressive along with the width of his cleft palate. However, he has been a great healer and has a good family support system, along with the fantastic pediatric anesthesia and NICU nurses and physicians at BRH. This is why he is getting such a great outcome.”

Akers said, “It was a hard month, but I am thankful for all the great doctors, nurses and of course Dr. Mitchell. They saved my baby’s life. He went from struggling to breathe and eat, not being able to be on his back at all, to being able to do everything a normal baby can do.”

BRH is located at 119 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For information, call 681-5551 or visit

Previous articleNorth Brandon YMCA Boosts SilverSneakers Program With New Leadership
Next articleSheriff’s Office Partners With Community To Bring Resources To The Homeless