Raising four young boys, Angela and Anthony lives were always full of surprises. The biggest surprise of all was learning that their son Hunter needed brain surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital.
A Mother’s Instinct
The first signs of trouble began when Hunter was only 5 years old. Suddenly the once-sharp kindergartener could not recall whether he was eating breakfast or dinner. “This was not like Hunter,” explained Angela, Hunter’s mother. Doctors in Coral Springs indicated that attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was the cause of the bouts of forgetfulness. Then one day, Hunter looked at Angela with a blank stare that lasted a few seconds. He did not move or blink. “When I would tell people about what had happened to Hunter, they would say that he was probably just messing with me,” said Angela. “Everyone thought I was crazy, but I knew something was definitely wrong.”
In March of 2009, Hunter’s parents learned that something was definitely wrong with their second-born son. Following her instinct, Angela made an appointment with Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital. That’s where Dr. Carlos Gadia, a pediatric neurologist, found a large tumor in Hunter’s brain. Hunter's family was told that the tumor had been causing the seizures and the memory loss, and had to be removed quickly. Hunter had brain surgery to remove the “boo boo” (as he calls it) a month later with Dr. Sanjiv Bhatia, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital. “I was expecting the worst possible situation - but Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, gave me back my son,” said Angela.
Back to normal
Today Hunter is thriving in the second grade and continues to be the quirky and playful 7-year-old boy his family knows and loves. He enjoys taking tennis lessons and playing with the new puppy his parents bought him after his surgery. Recently, Hunter surprised his family with his interest in playing the drums! He is taking lessons with an instructor and practices with his older brother, who plays the guitar. “After all we have been through… I cannot believe we are where we are today,” said Angela.
“Everyone at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, was phenomenal.
They wanted the best for Hunter.”
-Angela, mother of Hunter