Child returns one year after surgery for Halloween in supportive neighborhood

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Several communities across the metro hosted Halloween festivities a day late due to the cold and rainy weather.

It was the second year in a row the Goshen Meadows neighborhood in Edwardsville hosted the spooky holiday on an alternate date. In 2018, neighbors came together to welcome trick-or-treaters a week early for Sonny Mead, a then four-year-old boy who was scheduled to have surgery before Halloween and would miss his favorite day.

Sonny has craniosynostosis, a condition in which the skull fuses together before the brain is done growing. In a previous surgery, doctors removed some bone so Sonny's brain would have room to grow.

Last October, Sonny underwent a seven-hour cranioplasty at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital to rebuild his skull.

"We knew we were in good hands," said Sonny's dad, Sam Mead.

Sonny went in for surgery on a Friday. He spent Friday and Saturday in bed recovering. By Sunday morning, Sam said Sonny "was back to his old self" and was able to go home.

Jackie Mead, Sonny's mom, said they worried after a major surgery like Sonny had that he might struggle and have trouble keeping up with other kids his age. Fox 2 tagged along with the Meads as they returned to the Goshen Meadows neighborhood for trick-or-treating Friday night (Nov. 1), and Sonny, now five-years-old, seemed to be setting the pace as they moved from house to house.

"It was really, really amazing to see a community come together to just love and support a complete stranger," said Jackie of the way they were welcomed by the neighborhood last year.

The Meads said Sonny is doing great both physically and developmentally and was cleared by doctors to play sports. He has already joined tee-ball and wrestling teams.

Sonny will have annual check ups until he turns 18.

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