Five-year-old Emily Suero was getting ready for school just like every other day when she suddenly got a headache and became nauseated. She also was lethargic and could barely hold herself up.
After speaking with the pediatrician, Stefenie and Emily came to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Within minutes of arriving at Children’s, Emily’s physicians performed a computed tomography (CT) scan of her head. The CT scan revealed that there was a blood clot in Emily’s brain.
Diagnosed with an arterio-venous malformation (AVM), a drainage tube was installed to remove excess fluid from inside Emily’s brain. This gave the neurosurgeons at Children’s time to order additional CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to determine the extent of the malformation.
After the scans, neurosurgeons decided with the family that surgery was the best option.
With the help of the high-field strength, intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) system, the surgery to correct the AVM was a success—with the pictures to prove it. However, due to the bleeding, Emily was later diagnosed with ataxia—a lack of muscle coordination.
Through hard work in physical therapy at Children’s, Emily is recovering from ataxia and getting another chance to play with her two siblings. Her mother, Stefenie, could not be happier with Emily’s progress.
“We enjoy all of our time together, especially when we see Emily smiling, laughing, playing and just being a little girl,” she said.