Stories about: interventional radiology

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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All roads lead to Boston for South Carolina parents-to-be

Vein of GalenWhen you’re a South Carolina couple expecting your first baby, the prospect of a two-day, 1,000-mile road trip to deliver your bundle of joy seems far-fetched.

“Boston is not next door,” concedes Tradd Martin. “But after talking about the pros and cons, it was an easy decision.”

Tradd and his wife Jean decided to deliver their son Alex at Brigham and Women’s Hospital after doctors detected a Vein of Galen malformation, a rare blood vessel abnormality in the brain, during a third-trimester ultrasound.

“I was 32 weeks pregnant, and everything was going great. We even debated not doing the ultrasound, but a little something was telling us, ‘Go ahead,’” recalls Jean.

The ultrasound technician told the Martins she was concerned about an area in Alex’s brain, and the obstetrician diagnosed the couple’s unborn son with a Vein of Galen malformation.

“Our whole world turned upside down,” says Jean. She started researching the condition online to try to find some answers. “There was hardly anything on the Internet, except for Boston Children’s Hospital.”

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