Caiden’s mum, Vikki, was first referred to Professor Rutherford’s clinic around 20 weeks into her pregnancy, after an ultrasound scan found some of her baby’s head measurements were larger than expected.
Fetal MRI confirmed that there was a problem – a malformed vein deep within the brain – and as a result her pregnancy was monitored much more closely.
At 34 weeks, another MRI scan revealed that Caiden was now struggling for survival. The vein had become severely swollen and pressure was building very quickly in his brain and bypassing other parts of his body. Without immediate surgery Caiden would suffer severe brain damage or die.
“There were only around 20 minutes between the scan being finished and the operation to deliver Caiden starting,” recalls Vikki.
Following his birth, Caiden was rushed by ambulance to Great Ormond Street Hospital where the next day he had a two-hour operation. “He was so tiny and so sick. His diagnosis was one of the worst for children with his condition and I was told several times he might not make it,” she says.
Caiden later had a second operation and spent two months in hospital but thankfully his recovery has been much better than expected. He is still quite small and between six months to a year behind other children his age but his speech is now coming on well, says Vikki. He has also suffered some nerve damage in his legs.
Vikki knows it could have been a very different story. “It’s thanks to the MRI scan that he’s still here. I hadn’t been due to have another ultrasound scan after that for another two weeks, which would have been too late. It was only when I finally got home from hospital that I realised just how much had happened. We came so close to losing him.”
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