"Dr. Cochrane is brilliant. We give complete credit to the neurosurgery team who have been so tenacious at finding the right solution throughout. We are so grateful." -
Caroline Harries, Mother of Felix
Eight days after he was born, Felix's parents, David and Caroline, took him for a routine checkup with their family doctor who made a frightening discovery. Felix's head circumference had increased much too rapidly since birth. He was immediately diagnosed with hydrocephalus ' a build up of excess fluid in the brain ' and was sent directly to BC Children's Hospital.
After an overnight stay with many brain scans, Felix had his first neurosurgical procedure at only 10 days old. A device called a shunt was placed in Felix's brain to drain the excess fluid.
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be that simple. After a follow-up MRI, doctors discovered that Felix had a rare condition. An area in Felix's brain, called the choroid plexus, was massively overproducing cerebral fluid, and the shunt that had installed was unable to cope with the volume of liquid. The condition is difficult to treat and can lead to skull deformities and brain damage.
At five months old, after several shunt revisions and a lot of pain and discomfort, Felix underwent major neurosurgery to remove the right choroid plexus. Five hours of surgery and yet another shunt revision later, the operation was a success. Felix's shunt was finally able to operate normally and drain the excess cerebral fluid.
Shortly after Felix's first birthday, doctors determined that his left choroid plexus needed to be removed as well. After another strong recovery, Felix's parents were relieved that he was advancing like a typical one-year-old. Now four, he continues to develop well. Felix's shunt may need revisions in the future, or may possibly be removed altogether, but for now he's thriving.