First pediatric brain aneurysm surgery done in Guyana; teen to make full recovery


Thirteen-year-old Ty David is expected to make a full recovery after being the first pediatric patient in Guyana to undergo brain aneurysm surgery.

The ground-breaking surgery was performed by the country’s lone neurosurgeon, Dr. Amarnauth Dukhi, at the Woodlands Hospital in Georgetown on Monday.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Dukhi explained that the “textbook style surgery” performed lasted for two hours, given the lad the prospect of a normal life.

According to the child’s mother, Tonna David, on May 18, her son was at home, attending online classes, when he alerted his grandmother that something was wrong. When the grandmother arrived, she found him passed out on the bathroom floor.

L-R: The mother, Tonna David with Neurosurgeon Dr. Amarnauth Dukhi and Dr. Neville Gobin (Photo: News Room/June 1, 2021)

Tonna said her son was rushed to the Woodlands Hospital and doctors relayed that his blood pressure was extremely high, to the point where he could have suffered a stroke. Dr. Duhki, who was contacted to consult on the case, explained to the media that a CT scan was performed on Ty, which showed extensive bleeding in his brain from a spontaneous rupture.

This led to the diagnosis of a brain aneurysm due to the type of bleeding known as a “subarachnoid haemorrhage”, a condition that is rarely found in children.

“[This is] very, very rare in kids. It’s not something that you usually see in kids,” the neurologist explained.  In fact, he pointed out that for every 100,000 kids below 15-year-old, 0.09 per cent is the frequency rate for the occurrence in kids.

With Ty considered a high-risk patient, he could not have travelled out of Guyana to undergo the procedure, hence systems were put in place for the surgery to be done locally.

Dr. Duhki explained that the surgery was a minimally invasive brain aneurysm endovascular stenting and with Guyana not yet equipped to handle such procedures, the materials had to be imported.

“The procedure went extremely well. I do not foresee any future complications and he should be able to go back to normal, whatever he was doing as per normal, his routine daily activities, school, studying etc.

“It’s also important to note that these types of procedure in a foreign country, will cause a patient about, almost US$200,000 or more, and we’re able to have everything done here for between 10 to 15% of that cost.”

Ty’s mother was in high praise of the neurological team led by Dr. Dukhi and had every hope that the surgery would have been a success.

She said, “I know from inception, I have faith that the surgery would have been successful. I never wavered or anything, I was just waiting on the good news, right outside the theatre door.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Neville Gobin, Management Consultant at Woodlands Hospital, expressed satisfaction that the procedure went off without a hitch as the hospital invests in modern equipment to bring the best health care.

“We invested a lot in modern equipment so that we can bring the best health care at an affordable cost. We are happy that the procedure went well.”

Ty is expected to make a full recovery after the neurological procedure.

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