Doctors in New York have prevented a 17 months British toddler from succumbing to an extremely rare medical condition called aneurysm, by repairing her damaged brain with superglue.
Ella-Grace Honeyman born with vein of Galen malformation, which causes tiny holes in the brain's main blood vessels. Blood seeped through the openings and flooded her skull cavity, causing a potentially fatal aneurysm.
AdvertisementHer parents brought her to America, where surgeons operating on her used the medical equivalent of superglue to stem the bleeding.
Laura and Ryan Honeyman, from Horsfold, Norfolk, have revealed that it was with the help of local fundraisers that they could pay over 100,000 pounds for the pioneering treatment in America and France.
They admit that their daughter may need to have further surgery, but doctors have told them that the little girl's chances of living a full and happy life have increased.
During the surgery, a remote- controlled tube containing an organic adhesive was inserted through Ella-Grace's groin, past her stomach and heart, and finally into the base of her brain.
The surgeon then injected the glue into the holes in an artery and faulty capillaries, which allowed the fluid in the baby's skull to drain and thereby removed the aneurysm.
Only two British hospitals - one in London and one in Glasgow - are equipped to deal with such cases.
Ella-Grace's parents have revealed that they were told that the baby's chances of survival would be greater if they travelled to France or the U.S., as surgeons in the two countries were had more experience.
"When we first learnt about Ella-Grace's condition, we were devastated," Times Online quoted Mrs Honeyman, 29, as saying.
"We were told she had a brain aneurysm that would kill her unless treated and we really thought we'd lose our baby girl. The operation was a success and worth every penny. She's now doing what all kids her age should be doing - bouncing around, playing and having a good time," she added.
She revealed that Ella-Grace's first operation in France went well, but the surgeon died two days afterwards, and the family had to head to the U.S. for more treatment.
The baby girl requires some more "top-up" operations to plug the remaining openings, and is due to travel back to New York next spring.