Successful craniotomy - 11 years old son

We are so happy that this is behind us !!!

After a brain hemorrhage in August last 2017, 4 days of aphasia, paralysis on the right side of his body, 45 days at the hospital and a long rehab, included missing most of the school year, we had to go through a long process to finally get to the surgery. It was finally done on July 25th, 2018.

Philippe’s AVM (level 2 - 12mm) was located in the supplementary motor area (SMA) and therefore there was a risk that he would paralyzed again temporarily with the surgery. Despite those risks, we find after consultations and researchs that it was the best option for him. Also, even if he was only 11 years old, that’s what he wanted so strongly and he really thinks he took the decision for himself.

Kids approche things so differently. While we were thinking of the risks, he saw that as an adventure. On the morning of July 25th, at 5 am, he was dancing in the house so happy to go to surgery. He was so confident that everything would go well. He even told me “you know Mom, there is a slight little risk that I could die on the table but I tell you now, don’t worry about it, it won’t happen”. After hearing that, we had to be as strong as him.

We live just by Ottawa, Ontario,Canada. Procedure was done by Dr Agbi at the Civic hospital then 24 hours laters, our son was transferred to the Children Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). In went in surgery room at 8 am, got out at 4:15 pm and went straight for angiogram. They then confirmed that the AVM was gone and that our son was cure. That was the first good news.

That hardest part of the day wasn’t the waiting. It was when we saw him in the recovery room with numerus tubes all around his body. We then really realize what he has been through. When he woke up, he couldn’t move his right arm and leg but he could talk. We thought we were good for another long rehab but he was alive and cured so we couldn’t complain. But that Dr Agbi is a real magician because, in the middle of the night, every was moving as normal.

Philippe started taking Kepra on the Thursday and the following Friday, he was feeling slow, lost, inconfortable and crying for nothing. He was not himself. Thank to this group, I knew it was the side effects on the medication. Luckily for him, it just lasted 1 day.

5 days after surgery (Monday) he was discharge from hospital using Tylenol only on demand. Meeting him, you would never believed that he had brain surgery. Other that the tape protecting his cut and staples, he looks like a normal kids who enjoyed life and was jumping around.

Philippe was a football player and through is team manager we have been but in contact with the CFL RedBlacks football team. Those guys have been amazing with our son : special practice visit, tickets for a game where they invite all his football team, convertible ride on field at half time, a night at arcade and movie with 2 players and last Monday 3 players and the mascot came to visit him at the hospital before he was discharge. They already invite him for another game in August. Also, the team talks to TSN (sport network) about our son journey’s and there have been filming at different occasion in 2018 including up to the surgery room to make a story with it. It should be available by the end of August.


That is fabulous news! I am so happy to hear that your son is doing well, things like this give me hope that my little girl will get through this as well. Thank you for sharing!

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I’m sure she will. Doctors are amazing and technologies so advanced now. Be strong, it’s not easy when it’s your child but you will get through it even stronger.

Great news! So happy to hear and nice to get the contact with the RedBlacks, so many quality folks involved in sport that are such a positive influence an inspiration particularly to young people (…but I have to say go Bombers…)Take Care, John.

That’s all great news to here that the surgery went well. You should let your son no that I was at the age of 10 when I had my surgery done. Just so he doesn’t feel like he’s the only young one to have this. My surgery was back in 2000. I still take Keppra to this day to prevent seizures and have gone over 10 years without having one. Tell your son I sad Congrats!! :grinning:

Hi Nadine:

We love to hear happy endings! God Bless you both.

That is the most amazing news! I’m so happy for y’all’s successful AVM resection. The hard part is behind y’all. The fear of it rupturing is over. Amen. Prayers for a speedy recovery for your lil one. He will be playing football in no time.

wow amazing news I am so happy for your family! I too went through such a similar process and oddly enough 45 days in the hospital to be exact. I am so blessed to have been recovering so well. I always tell people anything is possible with passion and the power of love. Great story, now your son too can inspire others with his successful journey!