NEW UNDERWOOD | In most ways, Quinn Kougl is a normal, active 2-year-old.
She loves to run and play and has a hard time sitting still. She loves dogs, horses and other kids, including her older siblings, Cody and Nora.
In other ways, Quinn, daughter of William and Justine Kougl of Busby, Mont., is different. She was born in November 2015 with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a genetic disorder causing minor to severe cranial and facial malformations.
Neurologically, Justine said, Quinn is the same as other kids and can expect a normal lifespan, but she has endured five major surgeries in her short lifetime.
You have free articles remaining.
Born with very little airway, she breathes through a tube. Because of a malformed jaw, she eats via a feeding port in her stomach. She hears through the latest in hearing aid technology.
Justine brought Quinn to the New Underwood School on Thursday at the invitation of school superintendent George Seiler, a longtime family friend. New Underwood elementary and middle school students are reading the 2012 novel “Wonder” and watching a 2017 movie of the same name, which is based on the R.J. Palacio authored book and tells the story of a child with Treacher Collins Syndrome.
Justine wanted to reinforce the message that it’s OK to be different, and kids who aren’t the same still like to run and play and have fun.
“Those are the important things, and if we can start teaching that at any earlier age, I think we can impact more kids that way,” Justine said.