Anna D., Bothell, WA
The best decision we ever made for our 10 year old daughter Anna was consulting Dr. Shahinian at the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles. It has changed our life forever, as our daughter has her vision and her life back.
It all started about four months ago when Anna started getting episodes of total blindness that occurred two to three times daily. These episodes would strike suddenly without any warning and Anna would be left with complete sudden loss of vision In both of her eyes. What a scary experience for anyone, but especially for a child.
These episodes of blindness increased in duration initially starting for a few minutes two or three times daily. Once the episodes reached about 7 minutes of blindness, they began increasing in duration by one to two minutes each day and got up to 65 minutes twice daily before her surgery. Her daily life completely changed as she was no longer able to participate on her ice hockey team, or do her fencing. Middle school became very difficult as blindness would occur at school randomly. The school ended up having a full time adult teacher assistant present with her at all times as sometimes up to almost half of her school day was spent in blindness.
We did every test at our local childrens hospital and consulted more doctors than we ever thought imaginable. She had an MRI which showed a complex pineal cyst in her brain discovered during her work-up, but every doctor we saw said it was an incidental finding and not the cause of her blindness. Interesting enough, while it was thought to not be the cause of her symptoms,no one had any other ideas of what it could be and we were told she would just need to live with the blindness. Finally, we discovered Dr. Shahinian in Los Angeles. We sent our records and MRI which he reviewed and said that he felt very strongly that her blindness episodes were caused by the pineal cyst and that he could remove it.
Never in a million years would we ever have thought that our child would need brain surgery, but here we were. On November 6, 2013 Anna had her brain surgery to remove the pineal cyst. The surgery was a complete success! The cyst was completely excised and her episodes of blindness were suddenly a thing of the past. She was discharged from the hospital 48 hours after surgery.
Celebrating Thanksgiving three weeks after her surgery, watching her run around with her cousins, and be back to a completely normal 10 year old kid has been a truly extraordinary experience. We will forever be indebted to Dr. Shahinian for his amazing and truly miraculous surgical expertise and knowledge.
Nathan and Kelly D.,
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