"He shouldn't feel alone:" Chippewa Falls father gets tattoo matching his son's cranial scar
CHIPPEWA VALLEY -- A Wisconsin father is getting a lot of positive attention for his decision to get a tattoo to support his son's battle with a rare condition.
"I saw another father who did the same thing. His son had a brain tumor, and he did it to boost the confidence of his child, and that's kind of the same reason I'm doing it," Jeremy Cortner said.
They say scars are like battle wounds, but Cortner isn't the one fighting. His son is.
"I've seen this scar before, just not on my own head," Cortner said.
The design stretches from ear to ear. He had it done at Rezurrection Tattoo in Eau Claire -- all for his six-year-old son Casey, who will be facing his second round of surgery in July.
"My son Casey had a craniosynostosis. That's when the sutures in his head fuse prematurely, so they did a surgery to kind of let the brain have room to grow again," Cortner said.
Cortner said next month, doctors will repair soft spots on his skull, ones they say haven't healed since his first surgery, nearly six years ago.
"They're probably about one to two inches wide, so they're using 3D technology to go in and fill those spots. If we didn't do that, his brain couldn't grow and that would, he would potentially lose his sight and his hearing and his ability to learn because his brain couldn't utilize the room that it should," Amy Cortner, Casey's mother said.
"I want him to know that he shouldn't feel isolated or alone with his scar," Jeremy Cortner said. "I get to choose this. He doesn't get to choose his, you know? When he looks back, and thinks about his surgery, maybe some positive memories will come out of something special my dad did for me instead of just the negative parts of it of how painful it was."
"He can even refer to his dad even instead of himself, or he can say, 'Look, we're the same,' you know? So he doesn't feel so alone," Amy Cortner said.