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Back in October 2015 started out as a typical Saturday for us spending it at the baseball field. Tanner was up to bat when a foul ball off his bat hit him in the face. He was taken from the field by ambulance to the hospital. He was checked out by the Doctor who said nothing could be wrong or broken because he did not react to the taps to his face so they sent us home but by the next day it was very visible that his nose was clearly broken. I took him to his pediatrician Monday morning who sent me back to the hospital to see a plastic surgeon. While waiting for the plastic surgeon the ER doctor asked for a cat scan to be done to see what was broken. From that moment on our lives changed forever. In the Cat Scan they found an AVM which stands for Arteriovenous malformation. I was told they had to speak to a neurosurgeon before they could touch him to fix his nose. I looked up what a AVM was and this was the first website I came across. http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/TypesofStroke/HemorrhagicBleeds/What-Is-an-Arteriovenous-Malformation-AVM_UCM_310099_Article.jsp#mainContentWhen
the neurosurgeon finally called back they loaded us into an ambulance and took us to Cohen's Children's Hospital. There they did more testing, an MRI and an MRI with contrast to find out exactly what we were dealing with. The Dr finally came in later that night and explained what was going on and the severity of what we were dealing with. Tanner's AVM is considered on the large side and what Dr's call in an eloquent area of the brain, prime real estate, meaning getting to it to have it removed wouldn't be easy. It's resting under the motor cortex. Meanwhile Tanner still didn't get his nose fixed. I had to take him back to the original hospital the next day. Over the past year and a half we have seen many Dr's and have been given many options on what should be done to help rid Tanner of what has been described to us as a ticking time bomb in his head. We have been told if his ruptures it would be instant death but have also been told by many Dr's that they wouldn't be able to take it out because of the location. Because AVM'S are so rare a lot of the neurosurgeon's don't have the experience with them or won't attempt it because of the location it's in. An AVM can form anywhere in the body that veins and arteries meet. We were told his AVM was too big to do radiation on it alone without doing a procedure called embolization first, followed by one of the types of radiation but that there was zero room for error. If he had any swelling at all after radiation it wouldn't be good, again because of the location. In September we went into Manhattan to meet with yet another Dr and after looking at his scans the Dr said he could take this out. He wanted us to meet with another Dr to have him look at his scans and also give his opinion and he readily agreed Tanner's AVM could be removed surgically but first doing a procedure called an embolization. This short video describes how that is done. https://youtu.be/gYTVA3PoeY8
So on Wednesday February 1st Tanner will have the embolization done which is a 5-6 hour surgery. If this Dr can get enough of it embolized, the surgery would then not take place and we would do one of the types of radiation, but in doing that it would take many years for Tanner's AVM to shrink away. The thing we have been told is unless the AVM is 100% gone he is still at risk of a rupture. It has to be completely gone. And on Friday the 1st he will have the craniotomy to remove the AVM from his brain which is a 4-8 hour surgery. The Dr did say if he felt once he gets inside that it's too risky to continue, the surgery would be stopped and we would need to figure something else out. We ask for lots and lots of prayers that this can be done safely and with little after effects for Tanner to recover from. I will be updating here when we find anything out. Thanks, Chris and Elissa Cella