Three for the Road

Lillian Renee, Griffin Lee and Byron Trip McMahan, 14-month-old triplets, seem like happy, healthy babies, and for the most part they are.

But two of them, Griffin and Trip, suffer from a disorder known as craniosynostosis. It's a birth defect of the brain, which if not treated early can cause some long-term complications such as seizures, blindness, or even developmental delays.

The condition causes the premature closure of one or more joints between the bones and the skull. If not corrected, doctors say it can hinder growth of the brain.

That's why Griffin and Trip are now preparing to undergo surgery in Birmingham next week to correct the problem as soon as possible.

"As for the surgery, it's got to be done. It's something they've got to do," said Stella McMahan, the children's mother.

"Like Stella, I was scared. This is what's been going. It's been looming in the horizon since day one," said their father, Chet McMahan.

The surgery will relieve pressure on the brain. Although confident that everything will be fine, both Stella and Chet admit that they have some concerns.

"It's kind of like we have these bills that need to be paid, but we also have to worry about hotel, food and gas because none of that stuff is covered anywhere," said Stella.

"Besides the operations and everything, it's having to deal with being out of work for a week at least and having this looming over you," said Chet. "Yes, it's very stressful, but you do what you have to."

A fund to help the McMahan family with those expenses has been established at BankPlus in Meridian.

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