How a Kick in the Head Saved This 3-Year-Old Boy’s Life!

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Playing 3-Year-Old’s Brain Tumor Scare

The Doctors meet parents Holly and Jeffrey who share the story of their 3-year-old son McLean’s brain tumor scare. They say it all began because their 5-year-old daughter accidentally kicked McLean off the couch. The doctor said he had a minor concussion but it turned out to be so much more.

After noticing McLean acting a bit funny, his parents took him back to the pediatrician. There, they were told he might have slow bleeding in his brain from the fall and he needed to go to the hospital to have MRIs done.

Watch: 3-Year-Old Gets 5 Pound Tumor Removed

From there, things moved quickly. The doctors diagnosed McLean with a brain tumor and said he needed to be airlifted to a hospital for immediate surgery. McLean had hydrocephalus and the buildup of fluid in his brain needed to be drained to relieve pressure.

Holly and Jeffrey were told it was unlikely that the entire tumor could be removed and to prepare for potential blindness and the possibility that McLean would never walk again. The surgery was planned for 20 plus hours but at 7 hours in, they got the best possible news they could expect to hear. The entire tumor came out in one piece and doctors couldn’t believe how well it went!

After the surgery, McLean worked with a physiotherapist in the hospital and Holly says since McLean’s first step there, he hasn’t let anything stop him! Today, she says he is doing amazing and again she is so thankful her daughter’s kick inadvertently saved McLean’s life! The Doctors invite neurosurgeon Dr. Anthony Kim to answer a few questions from Holly and Jeffrey.

They want to know if McLean’s brain tumor, which was the size of an orange, may have been something he was born with or was it something he developed after birth. Holly also asks, “How long does it typically take for a tumor to grow to that size?”

Watch: Virtual Reality Now Allows Patients to Experience Their Surgery

Dr. Kim explains the type of tumor McLean had typically grows very slowly over time. It is one of the few tumors which can be found in the fetus state, so it is possible it was there even at birth. 

Holly then says that McLean is photophobic, meaning he has extreme sensitivity to the light. She wants to know if this is related to the tumor. Dr. Kim says the location of the tumor nor the surgery typically causes this issue. However, it is possible that if he has had the tumor since birth, it may be putting chronic pressure on the optic nerve. Luckily, children are resilient and Dr. Kim believes McLean will get over this issue.

To help McLean deal with his photophobia, The Doctors have decided to send him some special glasses to help with the issue. Additionally, to help with his recovery, they are giving him customized helmets for as long as he needs them. Lastly, both of Jeffrey and Holly’s kids are getting a huge bundle of toys!