From Shock to Relief – the Moment of Ethan’s Brain Aneurysm Diagnosis

Ethan, patient, with Daryl, Ethan's father

“I had never heard of an aneurysm. I had never heard of a fistula,” said Heysel, Ethan’s mom.

After the initial shock of the moment, she and Daryl, Ethan’s dad, were relieved they’d brought their son to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital for his severe headache.

“Ethan had a significant amount of bleeding in his brain from a large, complex ruptured aneurysm the size of a peanut,” said Norman Ajiboye, MD, interventional neuroradiology, Memorial Neuroscience Institute. “It was complex because it was associated with an abnormal artery to vein connection called an arterial venous fistula.”

Dr. Ajiboye performed minimally invasive brain surgery in collaboration with Ethan’s care team at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

“It's very rare when you have a children's hospital that has the adult neurointerventionalists and neurology colleagues we can turn to,” said Tatyana Dubrovsky, MD, pediatric neurology.

“Ethan is doing amazing,” Heysel said. “He's acting like a 7-year-old boy, and we're very thankful for that.”

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