Isaac Walsh

First post: Mar 9, 2011 Latest post: May 12, 2021
In this photo Isaac poses with a St. Jude patient during his time working in the IT department at the hospital. Isaac worked at St. Jude for two years before returning back to Oklahoma in October 2020 after accepting a job at the Tulsa Amazon Fulfillment Center. 

Isaac was a normal 13 year old child who was diagnosed with brain cancer on March 7, 2011. As of May 2013, Isaac has had 7 surgeries on his brain, endured 31 radiation treatments to his brain & entire spine + completed 4 rounds of chemotherapy.  He also has endured 5 cross facial nerve and muscle graph surgeries on face.  The most recent surgery was done on June 14, 2016.  

Isaac was a healthy child who ran cross country, played soccer and basketball and was on the A/B honor roll at his school.  He began to experience headaches, neck muscle spasms and weight loss in February 2011 before he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  

Isaac's tumor was discovered through a cat-scan performed at St. Francis Children's Hospital in Tulsa, OK.  The tumor was lodged under the bone of his skull and creating massive pressure of his brain and spinal cord.   

The tumor was the size of a large man's fist (softball) and caused his brain to swell.  Dr. Daniel Boedeker (neurosurgeon) of St. Francis Children's Hospital saved his life through a series of surgeries to make his recovery from cancer possible.   

Brain Surgery:

Isaac underwent three brain surgeries in 8 days to save his life while in Tulsa, OK.  He had an additional surgery at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis shortly after our arrival at St. Judes.  The surgeries are outlined below...

Wednesday, March 9:  A hole was drilled in Isaac's brain to relieve the pressure the tumor was causing inside his skull. The surgeon said the brain fluid literally spewed into the air when the pressure was relieved.  A external drain to relieve the pressure the tumor was causing was installed to a tube running outside of his head. 

Friday, March 11:  Isaac underwent a major 5 hour brain surgery to remove the tumor from his spinal cord and skull.  The surgeon was able to remove all but a quarter size amount which remained attached to his spinal cord.  The surgeon also confirmed the tumor was cancer. 

Thursday, March 17:  Isaac had his external "brain" drain removed and an internal one installed.  He now has a pressurized valve in his head with a tube going down the inside of his body to his stomach.  The drain will allow excess spinal fluid to flow to his stomach and be absorbed throughout the rest of his body.   

Thursday, April 8
Isaac underwent a 10 hour brain surgery at LeBonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN to remove the small amount of cancer that remained after his treatmentin Tulsa.  The surgeon was able to remove all the remaining cancer while using a specialized piece of equipment called an "Intra-operative MRI," machine. 

Treatment of Cancer:
Isaac has been diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of brain cancer.  His cancer grew from the size of pea to a softball in only 8 weeks. 

Isaac's parents have allowed his cancer tissue to be donated to research and have signed up for a clinical research trial.  Isaac and both of his parents temporarily moved to Memphis, TN on March 30, 2011 for treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

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