Super glue operation saves little Alfie after brain-bleed emergency

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DOCTORS saved a tiny baby’s life after using a medical super glue to block a bleeding artery in the eight-week-old’s brain.

Medics discovered that Alfie Tilson had suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm after he was seen by his family GP.

His worried parents Lee and Nicola Tilson, from Rotherham, had realised there was something wrong when their son had trouble focusing his eyes.

Alfie was sent for a brain scan which revealed the rare aneurysm – a dangerous sack of blood that forms in the brain which doctors said was more common in adults over 50.

Pressure had built up inside his skull and had reached a critical point, with the problem further complicated by the number of arteries and veins involved.

Alfie was admitted to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital and the couple and their older son Samuel, aged four, travelled to the capital.

An initial operation to isolate the aneurysm was carried out and Alfie was placed in a drug-induced coma called neuro protection to allow him to heal naturally.

Another delicate procedure was then carried out to inject the adhesive Histoacryl which partially stopped the flow of blood to the aneurysm.

Alfie was allowed home and had to return for the procedure to be repeated in February. A final visit in May should complete the medication.

Mrs Tilson, 30, said: “The unease I had before was a mother’s instinct. I knew something wasn’t right because I was having bad dreams about him.

“Alfie wasn’t able to focus his eyes properly and it was obvious to us that there was something seriously wrong.

“We went to the GP and he went for a scan immediately to the local hospital.”

Alfie was then sent for further scans to Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital but his parents were told that he would have to be treated at Great Ormond Street.

Mrs Tilson added: “It’s your job as a mum to make everything better and I couldn’t do anything. I had to stand back and watch the nurses.

“When he was in that bed I wanted to pull out all the tubes and wires, warp him up in a blanket and run off with him. Now at night I watch Alfie sleeping and I think I came close to not being able to enjoy moments like this.”

Now at seven months old Alfie is like any normal tot of his age enjoying rough and tumble with his big brother.

Mr Tilson, 35, a Royal Mail worker, said: “The surgeon said it was touch and go but he was so pleased to see Alfie the next day. He said it was a minor miracle.

“It was a really traumatic time but now we are all home Alfie is doing great. He is a proper little character and it’s chaos when Alfie and Samuel get together.

“If there is any damage it won’t show until Alfie is a bit older but at the moment he is doing everything a baby of his age should be doing.”

The couple and their elder son Samuel, six, were prepared to settle in the capital after being warned the recovery would take months.

But more tests found that the brain tissue had been pushed out of the way meaning he would suffer little or no brain damage.

Since Alfie’s recovery the family has raised money for the Sick Children’s Trust which funded accommodation while the youngster was treated in London and Sheffield.

The trust, which has seven centres has helped more than 40,000 families since 1982 believing that a child’s recovery is aided by having their relatives around them.

A fund-raising night for the charity will be held at the Victoria Club at Swinton, near Rotherham, tonight organised by family friend Dave Owens.

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