Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program: Hannah's Story
The American Family Children’s Hospital Neurosciences team commits to caring for complex patients, including children with brain tumors like Hannah.
We met Hannah in 2010, a healthy and active 7-year-old girl, until she developed headaches, sleepiness and vomiting. MRI at a local hospital showed a large brain tumor blocking the flow of fluid around her brain. She would not survive without immediate surgery. Late at night, Hannah transferred to American Family Children’s Hospital. The next morning, Dr. Bermans Iskandar, pediatric neurosurgeon, removed the tumor.
Hannah needed a long course of chemotherapy, radiation and more surgeries, including a long-term IV for chemotherapy, a tube in her abdomen for nourishment, and a tube (a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt) in her brain to drain the build-up of fluid, all under the guidance of Dr. Diane Puccetti and the multidisciplinary pediatric neuro-oncology team.
Hannah successfully underwent treatment. Years later, a new pathway in her brain was created for drainage of the fluid (endoscopic third ventriculostomy) to make Hannah’s body do the work of the ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. Once it was clear that this worked, Hannah had her shunt removed.
We couldn’t be more honored to have joined Hannah and her family on this long journey, and report that after 8 years, Hannah is healthy thanks to the coordinated care of the many nationally renowned specialists on the American Family Children’s Hospital neuro-oncology and neurosciences teams.