Rare surgery leaves baby with half a working brain

Miracle as baby survives operation that cut the right side of her brain off from the left side

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A rare medical condition has led to a baby having the nerve connections to one side of her brain cut in order to survive, reports the Mirror.

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One-year-old Angelina Massingham was diagnosed with Sturge-Weber syndrome when she was just 18 weeks old.  This rare condition damages nerves in the brain and causes tissue to calcify or harden.  The syndrome meant Angelina was suffering more and more fits, and the operation was seen as her only chance.

Angelina, treated at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, had her skull opened and the damaged tissue detached, which meant cutting the nerve connections from the right side of her brain.

Mum Lisa and dad Stephen were told surgery was their daughter’s only hope of survival as her brain scans showed how fast her brain was calcifying.  They were told there was a 2% chance of Angelina dying during the operation, but if successful, her seizures would be cut by 80%.

“It was risky but we had to give Angelina the best chance,” said Lisa.
 
In June, Angelina underwent the seven-hour operation, and after a few weeks Angelina was back home with her other siblings, Luca, 9, and Stefan, 8.

Angelina has made a full recovery.  Doctors say because she is so young, the left side of her brain will learn the functions of the right side, meaning she’ll be able to lead a normal life.

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“She was having dozens of seizures but hasn’t had a single one since the operation. She’s learning to crawl again now. She will always have a slight weakness on her left side and she can’t use her left hand, but she should be able to live a normal life,” said mum Lisa.

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