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Conway Boy claims that his favorite pastime, bravery, and faith carried him through the ordeal of skull removal



Conway, Arkansas – While many have the opportunity to share their story, not everyone chooses to wear it.

Ten-year-old Conway resident Bowen Bradford can’t recall a day without headaches. He went from doctor to doctor for years in search of answers, but nobody could figure out what was wrong.

Sheri Bradford, his mother, was by his side the entire time. A “miracle doctor” finally diagnosed him with craniosynostosis after 13 incorrect diagnoses.

“His new neurologist just ran his hands over Bowen’s head and said, ‘I believe I know what’s wrong with your son,’” Sheri said.

His brain was unable to develop because his skull formed too soon. Doctors removed his entire skull in order to fix it.

“I was kind of scared but also happy that it was going to happen so that I could be better,” Bowen said.

The skull was reassembled like a jigsaw puzzle.

“I was pretty nervous,” Bowen said.

However, Bowen was arguably more anxious that he would lose the ability to shoot sports, which was his passion.

Even though Bowen had impaired vision before to the procedure, he continued to shoot. He was running from reality with it.

“It kept my mind off the pain and my eye on the target,” Bowen said.

Preparing for surgery took months.

“He continued and fought, and through it all, he had a love for shooting, his love of shooting never wavered,” Sheri said.

They had achieved their desired treatment at last. Sheri declared that she would never forget the doctor’s comments.

“We successfully removed Bowen’s skull, and his brain popped out like a muffin top,” Sheri recalled hearing from the doctor. “I remember being taken aback like wow, she said his brain was under so much immense pressure it just needed room.”

It wasn’t just having his skull removed that was difficult.

“When he would just look at me, with his swollen eyes and say, ‘Mom I can’t walk, and it hurts so bad,’ it’s really scary,” Sheri said.

During the procedure, Bowen developed a Dural tear, which resulted in some connective tissue damage and raised the possibility that he would never walk normally.

“His first question when we got home was, ‘Am I still going to go to my first practice?’,” Sheri said.

His tenacity and enthusiasm coming through once more. He had recently joined a new shooting team before to the procedure.

“I remember pushing him in a wheelchair, and the parking lot is rock and gravel and dirt, and we had to lift him up to get him through the door because there was no ramp,” Sheri said.

As of right now, Bowen plays, runs, walks, and shoots.

No more discomfort, no more fuzzy eyesight.

“God helped me see my purpose as I was aiming for the target, and I wanted to point others to Jesus,” Bowen said.

He is frequently questioned about his scars and haircut, which enables him to inspire others with his courage.

“I hope they see that it’s a story that they should know, a really neat one,” Bowen said.

Bowen is reminded of how he maintained his focus on the objective when he notices the zigzags across his skull.

“I see myself that got through all of this and overcame it,” Bowen said.


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