Born September 16th, 1987
Dean Phillip Bryant was born 9/16/87 at Audubon Hospital in Louisville, KY He was born at 7:17 p.m. and weighed 7lbs. 7oz. He was a normal delivery and was about 3 weeks early, but his older brother had also been about 3 weeks early.
The day after delivery he was not eating and the nurse said that he was turning dusky. She let his doctor know since that is a sign of heart failure. Dean was sent by ambulance to Kosair childrens Hospital because he was in congestive heart failure. After 2 heart catherizations, they could not find a heart defect. Then his cardiologist referred him to a neurosurgeon saying he had only seen this defect one other time, but that he thought it was a blood vessel in his head.
Dean was diagnosed with a vein of galen malformation. Because the surgery had never been done in Kentucky at that time, they wanted to transport him to Canada, but he was to weak to survive the trip. He had coil embolization surgery when he was 12 days old. Three coils were inserted to clot off the vessel. The chances of survival were only about 5%. They told us that he could have a cerebral hemorrhage during surgery. The coils could migrate and kill him instantly or he could loose to much blood. Any of these things would have killed him instantly.
They prepared us for the worst. If he did survive, he would be cerebral palsy and probably be brain dead due to the lack of oxygen to his brain during my pregnancy. We were devastated; all we could do was pray. Our priest came to the hospital to baptize him and was also there during his surgery as well as other family members and close friends.
Dean did survive and was able to come home when he was 1 month old. His neurosurgeon, Dr. Joy Arpin, left the Louisville area and relocated in Florida. I wish that she could have followed his progress. She would have been very proud of her work. We know see another neurosurgeon that was in the same office.
At 6 months he had another surgery. Through some of his x-rays, they had also discovered that his right kidney was not functioning due to a congenital blockage. The surgery was reimplantation of the right ureter. Because the kidney is a muscle and Dean was s young, it rejuvenated and he now has 2 healthy kidneys. If the procedure had not been successful the kidney would have been removed. The doctors told us that when a child is born with a congenital birth; it is not uncommon to have more than one defect.
When Dean came home after the VGM surgery we saw all the doctors monthly, then every 6 months and then yearly. We now see the neurosurgeon and cardiologist every 2 years.
Dean is a senior in high school and will graduate May 2005. He has a 3.75 GPA and is in the National Honor Society. Next fall he will start college. He scored a 25 on the ACT, which is a very good score.
I am telling this story to let all of you with survivors know what a normal life they can have. Dean has been a real joy to us and we feel blessed to have him. The only thing he is unable to do is play contact sports such as football, soccer, etc. Right now he is busy checking out colleges and applying for scholarships and grants.
I hope this story brightens your day. Feel free to email us.
Diane and Carl