Like many boys his age, fourteen year old Trevor Austin going for rides, especially in the family golf cart used for neighborhood trips. His mother, Kristie Austin, says that the wind and fresh air help his sense of sight and smell which are hindered by the congenital disabilities that he was born with. Trevor suffers from cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy. He was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which is the buildup of too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.
The Austin family has been receiving care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for over 10 years and calls the hospital their second home. He underwent several surgeries, including a shunt procedure to relieve pressure in the brain by draining the excess fluid. Trevor experienced a remarkable turning point three years ago when doctors discovered that a shunt placed in his brain a few years back needed repair. They turned to a new procedure to give Trevor and his family much needed relief.
Ann McNeil, a neurosurgery outpatient clinic nurse in the Brain Institute at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, shares that “Trevor underwent a procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy, which entails a neurosurgeon using a small tube to view and make an opening in the third ventricle of the brain, allowing for movement and drainage of cerebrospinal fluid.” The cerebral fluid is diverted elsewhere in an attempt to bypass an obstruction and relieve the pressure in the brain. “This procedure does not require hardware implantation and for certain patients it can be an ideal procedure,” said McNeil.
Mrs. Austin says her son has come very far as a result of this procedure. “Thanks to that surgery performed by Dr. John Ragheb, Director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Department at Nicklaus Children’s, Trevor has made tremendous improvement. He eats better now, he can concentrate more, and his disposition is better; he is happier and more responsive. Thanks to them his personality completely changed,” she said.