Private Project

Aiden's Journey: The Next Chapter

In 2008, Taryn and Ricky Skees welcomed their second baby boy 5.5 weeks early, however that wasn’t the only surprise they received that night.

The sounds of joy that normally fill a delivery room were replaced by confused gasps and an eerie silence. Ricky noticed something didn't look right with his son's hands and feet. A neonatologist told them that it appeared Aiden had something called Apert Syndrome.

Aiden's hands looked as is if they were in little fists. His fingers and toes were fused together and the sutures of his skull had closed too early making his forehead protrude. A nurse gave the nervous parents a printout that gave information about Apert syndrome, a craniofacial condition that occurs in only 1 out of every 160,000 births. They learned their baby would require numerous surgeries, may have a poor quality of life and even recommended institutionalization. They were heartbroken – yet determined to fight for their son’s future.

Taryn and Ricky researched doctors and decided on an experienced craniofacial team in Dallas, TX where Aiden had 3 major surgeries in the first 2 years of his life. Two procedures to separate his fingers and toes, and the first of numerous operations needed to expand his skull to allow space for his brain to grow.

Now almost 10 years old, Aiden is recovering from his most recent major surgery, a mid-face advancement procedure. Aiden's Journey: The Next Chapter follows Aiden in the weeks leading up to this life-changing procedure, provides candid interviews with his family and friends, discusses surgical details with his craniofacial surgeon and demonstrates the physical and emotional transformation that comes after the journey is complete.

Through Aiden’s Journey: The Next Chapter, we are excited to further efforts to raise awareness about Apert syndrome and hope that it will have a positive impact on how others view individuals with physical differences in a very appearance driven world.

  • Tommy Nolan
  • Isaac Schrader
  • Nick Beckman
  • Tommy Nolan
  • Sophia Basiliadis
  • Tobias Van Kleeck
    Associate Producers
  • Dominick Fitzgerald
    Associate Producers
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 17, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Super 35
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Documentary Screening of Aiden's Journey: The Next Chapter
    United States
    November 17, 2017
Director Biography

An AM radio disc jockey at age twelve. Filming stock car races and selling the VHS cassettes to race fans at age thirteen. Shooting sports photography for the local paper at age fourteen. To this day, Tommy credits those early years that helped shape his career.

He spent six-years in New York City developing his first brand and working with such clients as L’Oreal, Lancome, Visa, Duke University, Proctor & Gamble, WebMD, Estee Lauder, NFL, Bone Marrow Foundation, Allure, Glamour, and more.

Now that Tommy calls Louisville home again, he enjoys cheering on the Louisville Cardinals, snowboarding, tennis, golf, and traveling. He also proudly serves on the University of Louisville Alumni Board of Directors.

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