Dr. Cures Baby's Brain Condition with Superglue
Daily Mail UK
December 03, 2009
Toddler Dafi Evans owes his life to nothing more than a blob of glue.
Using a revolutionary technique hours after his birth, doctors used Histoacryl – similar to superglue – to plug a leak in his brain that would otherwise have killed him in a few days.
He was suffering from Vein of Galen malformation, in which missing capillaries between arteries and veins in the brain quicken blood flow, so that the brain is not given enough time to absorb oxygen and nutrients.
It can lead to water on the brain or enormous stress on the heart with fatal results.
Now 16 months old, Dafi is developing normally and his parents describe his recovery as a ‘miracle’.
Catrin Evans, 32, from Talgarreg, West Wales, said: ‘I look at Dafi now and I can’t believe it. It’s been a roller coaster year but he’s well and doing everything that he should, developing as he should.
‘I couldn’t believe how simple an operation it looks – it’s so noninvasive. It’s so dangerous but he comes back looking perfect, no scars, just a tiny cut.’
The former primary school headmistress was heavily pregnant when a scan detected a dark patch on the baby’s brain. She was initially told there was little hope of her son surviving.
Mrs Evans and her husband, dairy farmer Eilir, 30, were sent to see specialist Dr Stefan Brew at Great Ormond Street.
Happy family: Dafi Evans, (left) aged 16 months, with his delighted mother Catrin and dairy farmer father Eilir Evans as well as his sister Jano, three.
‘I was just relieved that somebody was giving some kind of hope even if it didn’t work out,’ said Mrs Evans, who also has a daughter, Jano, three.
Dr Brew, a consultant interventional neuroradiologist, warned them he would have to operate as quickly as possible after the birth, and that it might fail.
The procedure involves inserting a catheter into the child’s groin and using it to squeeze glue into the affected part of the brain.
Dafi improved straight away and was able to go home. He is now a lively toddler, although he has needed further treatments and expects his sixth in January.
Dr Brew, who has treated around 50 children, said it was ‘incredibly stressful’ but very satisfying work, adding: ‘The children go from looking like they were about to die, often overnight, to looking very well.’