Child undergoes brain surgery for rare condition


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) –  A 9-year-old girl survived a health scare that nearly killed her.  The Thomson child underwent a special type of brain surgery for a rare condition.

She was a little squirmy and very lethargic as the anesthesia wore off, but typically 9-year-old Kaniya Thomas is a ball of energy.

That’s what her mom Krista Collins told NewsChannel 6.

“She likes to turn cartwheels, jump on trampolines, ride bikes.  But she also has the girly side where she likes her dolls and likes to play in their hair,” she described.

Six days before Christmas life changed for the Thomson third grader who was visiting her God mother when the health scare came.

Collins told us, “When she came in the door, she was crying like crying so hard.  She never cried this hard even when she was a baby.”

Collins added her daughter never really complained of pain, but experienced stroke like symptoms.

She immediately took her to the emergency room.

A CT scan plus Kaniya’s weakness revealed shocking news.

“The doctor that was on call in the emergency room actually told me that she has an aneurysm,” she said, also telling us that she was asked whether her 9-year-old had started her menstruation cycle.

But that was wrong.

Kaniya had a brain bleed and was quite sick, according to Pediatric Neurosurgery Chief Dr. Ian Heger, with Augusta University Medical College of Georgia.

“We needed to get the swelling in her brain down so what we did is we put a drain in to relieve spinal fluid pressure and that stabilized her for the time,” Dr. Heger said.

Diagnosed with arteriovenus malformation, doctors removed a piece of skull to let her brain swell out.

“Within a very short period of time, she nearly lost her life,” Dr. Heger recalled.

After the swelling, stint and glue to her brain arteries, the hospital prepared Kaniya for Gamma Knife therapy or radio Brain surgery.

Dr. Cargill Alleyne, Department of Neurosurgery Chairman, spoke with NewsChannel 6 prior to performing brain surgery on Kaniya.

“We push a button and then the radiation is administered to the brain. [In} that specific area,” he said of the surgery.

Dr. Alleyne said how it works is the blood vessels react to the radio waves and shuts down the problem of tangled blood vessels.  In two or three years it disappears.

Collins said the after the December scare, Kaniya is still very much active.

“I’m glad that she’s the strong little girl that she is,” she said.

Kaniya is back home and doing well.

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