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FIRST YEAR - While Dylan Harris' first year in this world was a difficult one, his first birthday last December was a celebration for his extended family, close friends and all the people who made the first year of his life possible. Thirty-one weeks into her pregnancy, Catherine Harris and her fiance, Ronnie Baker, were told their baby had an underdeveloped jaw that was obstructing his airway. After several conferences, doctors at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence assembled a 27-person team and scheduled an "exit" procedure, which is a more complicated than a Cesarean section. Dylan's head was delivered and, after unsuccessful intubations, he was given a tracheotomy to give him an airway so he could breathe. Dylan was then completely delivered, weighing in at about 41/2 pounds. Catherine wasn't able to hold her son for a week as he recovered from the surgery. Dylan would be in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for two months and endure three surgeries before coming home in February to his family at 15 Butler St. in Newport. Catherine and Ronnie were later told their son has Nager syndrome, a rare disorder that may be genetically derived. Major symptoms include underdevelopment of the cheek and jaw areas. Dylan wears a bone conduction hearing aid, and within the next year, he will undergo more surgery to address the mobility of his thumbs, another condition of Nager syndrome. Bone distraction will eventually repair Dylan's jaw and hopefully bring his tongue forward, allowing him to learn to speak when his tracheotomy tube eventually comes out. "It's been a real challenge, but it's truly a milestone that Dylan successfully made it to his first birthday after the rough start he had," Catherine said.  

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