A St. Louis man is facing the daily reality of not being able to chew or being dependent on a mask to sleep.

“At birth, we found out he had a syndrome called Aperts. It’s a craniofacial syndrome that has deformities of the hand and feet as well,” said Dan Bruns, Patrick Brun’s father.

Patrick Bruns lives a full life but there are a number of challenges that come with his condition.

He’s not able to breathe air through his nose and has to sleep with a machine at night to help him breathe.

“I have a tendency to choke when I eat, that causes me to go the emergency room,” said Patrick.

One emergency room visit led Patrick to Dr. Kamlish Patel.

“He came to ER for pin sticking out from old hardware in his face,” said Dr. Patel.

Dr. Patel asks Bruns about the possibility of a mid-face advancement surgery, he had a similar procedure done about 20 years ago that failed.

“This is what’s different than 20 years ago, we didn’t have any of this. This is a 3-D printed model,” said Dr. Patel.

With this technology, Dr. Patel was able to virtually practice the surgery ahead of time.

“The less thinking we do in the operating room is better. Just concentrate on the technical,” said Dr. Patel.

After careful consideration, Patrick and his family agreed to go forward with the surgery.

The goal is to move Patrick’s face forward about one millimeter a day so he isn’t expected to be fully healed for another few weeks until it reaches 25 millimeters.

News 4 will be following Patrick Brun’s recovering and will update this story.

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