- Fine Print
- Tadhg’s Story
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The last day of school usually means very excited children, but six-year-old Tadhg was uncharacteristically quiet when his mum Hayli picked him up. “He seemed out of it,” Hayli remembers, “not like his usual self at all”. Over the coming days, these ‘absence seizures’ as his parents soon learned they were called, became more frequent. Within a week, Tadhg was having up to eight seizures a day and he had started shaking and twitching during the episodes. He would also be very tired and unresponsive for up to an hour after each attack, struggling even to speak.
A local doctor diagnosed childhood epilepsy, and arranged for Tadhg to see a paediatrician after the Christmas holidays.
The seizures continued, and all Hayli and her husband Gerard could do was monitor their little boy as closely as possible. One day the family were in the swimming pool, when Tadhg had another seizure, this time underwater. He was rushed to the Emergency Department near his home on the Central Coast, where an EEG, a scan of his brain activity, was performed. The results of this test were sent to a member of the Neurological Team at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, who suspected the cause of Tadhg’s seizures may not be epilepsy, and ordered an MRI. The MRI scan revealed a tumour the size of golf ball in Tadhg’s brain.
Tadhg was transferred to SCH by ambulance, and arrived at the Emergency Department, before being seen by the Neurological Team. It was decided that surgery to remove the tumour would be the best option, so a date was set, and after two days observation at the Hospital, he was sent home. Two weeks later, the whole family returned to Randwick, where Tadhg underwent a four hour operation to get the tumour. He spent two nights in the Intensive Care Unit, and spent another four days on the Neurological Ward. “The nurses and staff have just been amazing, so helpful and caring to all of us. The facilities are also fantastic, it’s great to have everything that we need to hand,” said Hayli.
While Hayli and Gerard are still waiting on results, doctors are confident the tumour was benign, and Tadhg hasn’t had a seizure since the operation. He will undergo another MRI in three months to ensure everything is fine, and until then his parents will be keeping an extra close eye on their energetic son.