Back in March my 14 year old daughter, Heather, suffered a stroke as a result of a ruptured cerebral AVM (ArterioVenous Malformation). Today she met neurosurgeon Dr. Peter Nakaji for the first time since he did surgery to remove the resulting blood clot from her brain.
Today we also were given an amazing gift that was created by a team of people lead by Dr. Stephen Pophal, the Division Chief of Cardiology at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The gift arrived with Dr. Ruth Bristol, the pediatric neurosurgeon who is in charge of Heather’s care.
What exactly is this gift? It’s a life sized (or maybe just a tiny tad bit smaller) 3D model of Heather’s skull, the AVM and the blood clot that was removed. It was created from the CT scans that were taken when we first took Heather to the emergency room, showing the blood clot and the AVM.
The photo above has the front of the skull on the left hand side. The brown blob is the blood clot which is a little larger than a golf ball. The orange strands are the arteries. The blue strip around the inside of the skull is the main vein. You can just see the bottom of the AVM in green.
This is the blood clot closer up, angled from the front of the skull.
This photo (above) has the front of the skull on the right hand side. Now you can really see the AVM (the green thing). It’s about 5cm long. It bled from the side – when I first met Dr. Nakaji just before he did the surgery to remove the blood clot, he wasn’t absolutely sure how much the AVM was embedded in the blood blot.