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Parents’ joy after radical surgery cures baby Finlay

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A baby who was suffering 100 seizures a day has had his life transformed after radical surgery to disconnect half his brain.

Little Finlay Ritchie was born at the DGH on December 6, 2012, and was immediately whisked away to a Special Baby Care Unit. Medics discovered that the left side of his brain developed with thickening folds – a rare condition known as pachygyria.

Mum Kali Peacock said, “On a bad day he would have 100 or more seizures, 24 hours a day, day and night he would just sleep, fit, sleep and fit, on a good day that would go down to about 25/30 seizures.”

Doctors talked to Kali and husband Martin Ritchie of Eversfield Road, about the possibility of brain surgery when Finlay was just seven weeks old. Finlay underwent the eight-hour procedure when he was 19-weeks-old at Great Ormond Street Hospital to disconnect half of his brain.

Despite being told he was at risk of paralysis on his right side their son came round fighting after the operation.

Kali said, “There was a baby kicking its right leg and we were saying he’s not supposed to be able to do that. What’s transpired is the left side of the brain was doing nothing of any use other than causing seizures and probably whilst I was still pregnant with him the right hand side had taken over operating.”

The pair have praised family and friends for their support and pay huge tribute to the NHS, particularly the dedication of Dr John Mitchell, consultant paediatrician who works for the DGH, surgeon William Harkness and Finlay’s neurologist Elaine Hughes.

Although Finlay, who Martin describes as a ‘lovely, wee boy’, is behind in the development of a normal 13-month-old the pair are overjoyed at how successful the surgery has been.

Kali added, “He makes people smile wherever he goes. I think he’s happy to be so free of those seizures.”

 

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