Harrison Evans

First post: Mar 17, 2022 Latest post: Jun 30, 2023
Harrison was diagnosed with a brain tumor on March 16, 2022. Two weeks prior, he fell at daycare and hit his head. We took him to the doctor the day after his fall because we noticed he was wobbly and was having trouble walking. When we took him to his primary, he was diagnosed with a double inner ear infection. It was deemed that the ear infections were the reason for his imbalance and unsteady gait. He was treated with antibiotics. Almost two weeks later, Harrison’s imbalance had not improved, even after completing his antibiotics. He went back to his primary, who said his ears looked great. His primary made a referral to Gillete’s neurology department as she suspected it was symptoms of a concussion from his fall. She ruled out any issues with his ears. A few days later, we take him to Gillette in St. Paul to see a pediatric neurology nurse practitioner. The visit was brief and she determined that he did not meet criteria for any imaging. She told us that his imbalance was probably a combination of his ear infection and a possible concussion. She sent us home with a referral for physical therapy. A few days later, Harrison had not gotten any better and we started getting nervous. I called the nurse practitioner at Gillette and she told us to take him back into his primary doc as she thought this had something to do with his ear infection coming back. We took him back to primary clinic and saw a doctor in “ready care.” He made a referral to the orthopedic department at Gillette. At this point, it felt like we were going around in circles and not getting any real answers. The next day, on March 16, Harrison had noticeably regressed even more and was now having trouble with hand eye coordination. I called the nurse practitioner at Gillette and told her I wanted him seen again and I wanted imaging. She said they could do a “quick scan MRI” of his brain later that same day. Our intention was to “rule out” anything “serious” so we could comfortably move forward with physical therapy. We went to Gillette later that day and Harrison had the quick scan MRI - he was not sedated and did amazing. We waited in a clinic patient room for the nurse practitioner to see us and give us our results after the MRI. After what seemed like eternity, a surgeon walked into our room. I knew instantly. He told us that Harrison had a large mass on his brain. He showed imaging of a clementine sized mass at the base of Harrisons skull where it meets his neck. He told us that they needed to admit him ASAP because Harrison needed a procedure to relieve the fluid that was built up in his brain causing intense pressure (and imbalance). We also needed to schedule surgery ASAP to have the tumor removed as it was causing complete blockage. A few hours later, Harrison had a drain tube surgically placed in his skull so the fluid could continuously and slowly drain and the pressure could subside. He also had 2 hours of more detailed MRI imaging completed right after the drain was put in. Thankfully, the surgeon did not find any additional masses in Harrison’s brain or spine. Harrison was scheduled for surgery for March 17, 2022 at 11:45pm. It is still very unclear whether the tumor is cancerous or not and what the road ahead of us looks like.

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