Stories about: Dr. Darren Orbach

Hope for Leonce: Kenyan boy’s incredible journey with vein of Galen malformation

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Boston is a long flight from Kenya — 22 hours long, in fact. That’s enough time to sleep, eat, read, watch countless YouTube videos and do it all over again, an experience that could make adults antsy, let alone two little boys. Yet it was a journey that Jane Nduta and Humphrey Njogu were eager to make.

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A father’s hope for his son’s life

Juan and Fredy pictured in 2017, nearly one year after Fredy's tumor was removed.
Juan and Fredy in 2017.

Juan was looking forward to having his son, Fredy, 14, finally come home to live with him. The teenager had been living under the care of his grandmother since he was a toddler.

But on that long-awaited homecoming day, Juan was quickly jarred from feeling great joy to grave concern.

“When I saw his face, one side looked very different from the other and his lip was swollen,” says Juan. “He admitted right away that his face had been hurting.”

Juan remembered that the last time he’d seen his son — more than one year ago — Fredy’s face had looked slightly different then too. But whatever was happening, the situation had clearly become much worse since then. Something was undeniably very, very wrong.

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On the move: Lilith’s dramatic recovery from arteriovenous fistula

recovering from arteriovenous fistula , playing in the snow

It began like any typical late summer day. Lilith Borden and her mom, Victoria, had stopped by a farm near their Concord, New Hampshire, home where the 3-year-old could enjoy an ice cream cone — and burn off some energy playing in a nearby field.

“We were running through the grass, when Lilith suddenly grabbed the back of her neck and screamed that she had a boo-boo,” Victoria remembers. Within seconds, she seemed to have trouble moving. As Victoria called for help, the little girl collapsed to the ground.

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Doctor-patient friendship helps make an upside-down world right

pediatric strokeSeven-year-old Jacob Downing has a list of caregivers as long as his “different” right arm.

On top on the list is a be-spectacled, bow-tie-wearing neurologist. Dr. Michael Rivkin is co-director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center and the first person Jacob remembers seeing after the emergency surgery he underwent following a stroke.

Jacob doesn’t remember the surgery to clear the blood clot that caused his stroke. “Dr. [Darren] Orbach worked a miracle for him,” says Jacob’s mother Nichole. Orbach is the neurointerventionalist who performed the endovascular thrombectomy procedure to break up the blood clot that caused his stroke.

“Like a lot of doctors at Boston Children’s, Dr. Rivkin talks directly to Jacob. Jacob knows he is trying to help him, and it shows,” says his father Justin.

And Jacob has needed a lot of help in the aftermath of his stroke. Initially, he seemed to quickly regain some of his lost skills.

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