Mason Fluty gnawed on his fist and glanced around at friends and family while they ate dinner at Hunan House in Galt on Monday.
Fluty eyed his hand mometarily before putting it back in his mouth. He was hungry.
Since his birth in July, Fluty has only been able to put his entire fist in his mouth when he needs something to chew on.
But today, that will change.
Today, Fluty, who is nearly 9 months old, will begin the process of receiving all 20 fingers and toes. Choosing which of them to gnaw on while he waits for a meal could become a serious dilemma for the growing boy.
Fluty was born with Apert syndrome, a condition that prematurely fuses together the bones in the body.
For little Mason Fluty, that means he was born not only without a "soft spot" on his head, he was born with hands and feet where all fingers and toes were fused together.
But fortunately for Fluty, that fusion has not been all bad. He was born with individual finger and toe bones, meaning that doctors would only need to separate them in order to give Fluty every digit.
Dr. Jeffrey Fearon of Texas will begin that process today. Fluty will get his index and pinky fingers today, and his second and fifth toes.
Fluty's father, Michael Fluty, said he and Fluty's mother, Casey Freitas, will have to travel back to Texas to complete the separation in the coming months.
The surgeries for the separation are expensive, and they are not the only surgeries Fluty has had to endure in recent months.
He has already had two cranial-facial surgeries to help his skull properly expand as he grows.
Freitas said her son will have to endure dozens of surgeries before he hits age 18, and even more surgeries after that.
However, support for the one of the youngest additions to the Galt-based Fluty family has not been limited to aunts, uncles or grandmothers or grandfathers.
The entire community has come together to help raise funds for Mason Fluty.
A fundraiser held at the Herald Barn in February brought in $22,000 alone for Fluty's surgeries.
And while roughly $38,000 has been raised to help pay for the procedures, the Fluty family is hoping to hit the $75,000 mark — which would pay for all three of Mason Fluty's surgeries.
In the coming weeks, fundraisers will be held at various locations in Galt, including one at Hunan House's 20th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
A drive-thru fundraiser with Texas Roadhouse is also planned for April 19 at the City of Galt's Parking Lot on Civic Drive.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at email@example.com.