SHEMIAH PIERRE

Young boy’s surgical needs strap family of four

Gesnel Pierre with son Shemiah Pierre, 3, who was born with scaphocephaly, a condition where the head is disproportionately long and narrow.

Gesnel Pierre with son Shemiah Pierre, 3, who was born with scaphocephaly, a condition in which the head is disproportionately long and narrow.

By STACI STURROCK
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

At first, Shemiah Pierre gave all appearances of being a healthy baby. His mother, Chrislene Osceus, carried him to term, and Shemiah weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces.

He also boasted a full head of hair, and it wasn’t for a couple of weeks, when a haircut revealed his misshapen skull, that his parents realized something was terribly wrong with their baby.

“When I saw his head, oh my God, I was crying,” recalls Osceus. “The top (of his head) was up, the sides were flat, and the back was long.”

Shemiah’s doctor immediately sent him to a specialist, who then referred the family to Miami Children’s Hospital.

The diagnosis: scaphocephaly or dolichocephaly, which occurs when the head is disproportionately long and narrow.

Shemiah underwent corrective brain surgery at the age of 2, and is scheduled for another operation in mid-December.

“They said if I don’t get him the surgery, I would not recognize him by the age of 12,” says Osceus.

 Shemiah Pierre, 3, at his home in West Palm Beach.
Shemiah loves music, and Osceus hopes she can encourage that interest.

Since the initial surgery, Shemiah, now 3, has been more talkative and active — he and baby brother Abishai, who is 18 months old, are partners in adventure, and in February, they’ll get a new baby brother — but he still attends speech therapy and, because the top of his skull still has not fused closed, he cannot play too rough.

Shemiah’s father, Gesnel Pierre, works in the kitchen at TooJay’s, but his paycheck can barely keep the family afloat.

He and Osceus share a single car that must be available to take him to work, and Shemiah to testing facilities in Miami and both boys to preschool.

Shemiah loves music, and Osceus hopes she can encourage that interest and place him on a path toward a productive life.

“I want him to become a good man,” she says. “It’s so hard now to raise kids.”

SHEMIAH’S WISH
Shemiah’s mother, Chrislene Osceus, is unable to work because her 3-year-old son suffers from a medical condition and requires regular doctors’ appointments. Although Shemiah’s father holds a minimum-wage job, the family could use help with rent and utilities, transportation and clothing, and their home could use a new stove and refrigerator.

NOMINATED BY: Opportunity Inc., West Palm Beach

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3 Responses to “Shemiah Pierre: Young boy’s surgical needs strap family of four”

  1. Nazli on 07 Dec 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    i am so sorry for your son i hope he feels better soon.

  2. Cecilia on 20 Dec 2011 at 8:36 am #

    This is an amazing program. Thank you from the Children & Families at Opportunity, Inc. Today, we will make a big wish come true.

    Happy Holidays and God’s richest blessings!

  3. Guillermo Farinas on 01 Jan 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Your son Shemiah will get well and he will have a normal and happy life thanks to God.
    Someday, I would like to meet Shemiah and his family. Thank you and may Jesus bless you.

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