When Oliver was only a few weeks old, his parents, Sharon and Hugh, noticed that he was having some unusual ‘turns’, which began to worry them.
When he was eight weeks old, they took him to their local hospital where a brain abnormality was identified. He was given medication and, for the next few months, his behaviour was normal.
However, when he was around nine months old, his seizures returned and he was referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
Building on the information sent from the referring hospital, the brain abnormality was further identified as a disappearing lesion – an area of diseased tissue in the brain which is not always visible on scans. For the next four years, Oliver was given a variety of drug treatments to manage his epilepsy, some of which made him very tired and had undesirable side effects.
During all this time, Sharon and Hugh had to come to terms with the prospect of a lifetime of watching and assisting their little boy, even through the night, when he had most of his seizures. Oliver was only given a 15 per cent chance of any change in his condition.
The turning point came when Oliver was six and specialists at GOSH told Sharon and Hugh that it might now be possible to operate – although there were risks and, of course, no guarantees. His parents decided to give Oliver every chance of a normal life and agreed to the surgery.
The Neurosurgery Team was able to make use of complex imaging techniques to identify the exact location of the lesion and the operation took place. It required enormous skill and precision to avoid other healthy areas of the brain, which control vital sensory organs. The next day, Oliver sat up in bed and told Sharon: “Mummy, my hurt’s gone”.
Four years on Oliver, now age 10, is making fantastic progress.
Hugh, Oliver’s father said, “There has been a gradual lifting of a kind of fog that had apparently been clouding every aspect of his life. Oliver has become a different child. His whole character has changed: where he was accepting and occasionally a little sullen, he has turned out to be wildly enthusiastic and desperately self-assertive. He’s even begun to argue with us!
"Ollie has really come a long, long way and it all started with the diagnosis and treatment to remove the original lesion by the team at GOSH.”