Three years ago today the journey began

Grandson Ben’s dad reminded us that it was three years ago today that 6-year-old Ben’s medical journey began.  This journey would see him diagnosed as a 3-year-old with dural arteriovenous fistula, a vascular malformation in the brain that was potentially fatal.  And it would take him to several hospitals and through 3 brain surgeries.  Today, he is a happy, healthy, thoughtful, kind young man who plays sports, enjoys school, and is about to celebrate his 7th birthday.

Here is what Ben’s dad posted today:


Note: TC Thompson is the children’s hospital in Chattanooga, TN.  Scottish-Rite hospital is part of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.


And here is Ben (with dark hair) with his dad and his friends Carter and Cameron:


On April 6, 2014,  I posted my first article about Ben’s medical condition.  That was on my original blog  The article later became the first post of this blog which is devoted entirely to Ben’s continuing journey.  Here’s the link to that original post:

Many thanks to everyone who has supported Ben and his family during the past three years.  It has been an incredible journey to be sure and one that has had a amazing outcome.

#BenStrong   #Soli Deo Gloria


Another MRI And A Positive Report

A little over two weeks ago, grandson Ben had an MRI at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta that revealed that blood clots had developed in his brain. Upon the advice of his surgeon in New York, the clots were not treated at that time.  Dr. Berenstein said that the clots were a normal occurrence after this type of surgery to repair a Dural AV fistula and that they would dissipate on their own.

A second MRI was scheduled for last Friday at Scottish Rite Hospital which also is part of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Ben must be sedated each time he goes in for testing, and his mom said the sedation team on Friday was the best so far. Because they used a stronger MRI machine this time, the medical personnel actually had to find out the manufacturer of the platinum coils in Ben’s brain before they could do the test.

Results of Friday’s MRI were available today, and we were happy to learn that although the clots have not diminished, they have not grown larger.  Ben will not have to go back in for a third MRI until sometime in October.  That will give doctors a longer period over which to compare test results.

In the meantime, Ben still suffers from headaches, but they are less frequent and less intense.  He swims almost every day and enjoys riding his bike and going to baseball games. And he is excited about beginning pre-K next week.

As always, please continue to keep Ben and his parents in your thoughts and prayers.