Sparks and Great Ormond Street Hospital supporter Kerry describes the remarkable journey of her daughter Megan and her reason for running London Marathon.
“On 3 September 1991, our daughter Megan was born. Because of my pre-eclampsia, the doctors decided she would be delivered by Caesarean section – she was 10 weeks early. Megan was transferred to a special baby care unit.
On 6 September, Megan’s lungs collapsed and she was placed on a ventilator. It was during this time that Megan had a brain haemorrhage and over the next month we could only watch as her head grew bigger and bigger.
Doctors diagnosed her with a condition called hydrocephalus and she needed an immediate operation to have a shunt – a pipe with a pressure valve that regulates the cerebrospinal fluids (CSFs) in the body – inserted into the first and second ventricles of her brain.
However, there was a complication: her protein levels were too high and the doctors were unable to go ahead with the operation until her protein levels dropped. It would be five weeks before the operation was possible, by which time Megan was very poorly.
On 3 November, Megan was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital to have an MRI scan ready for her operation the following day. On 4 November Megan had her shunt inserted.
Megan eventually came home exactly six months after she was born; it was a day we had thought we would never see.
Fast-forward to 1995: Megan began to feel ill and was taken to hospital. Tests confirmed that Megan had meningococcal septicaemia meningitis. She would spend the next three weeks in hospital. Somehow she pulled through.
Megan was doing well and started at primary school. However, at the end of her first summer term, Megan collapsed at school and was rushed to Hospital. An MRI scan showed that a cyst the size of a golf ball had grown in the fourth ventricle of her brain and she needed urgent surgery to have a second shunt inserted.
This time, Megan’s recovery was slow and she remained in hospital for weeks. It took months for her balance to return and for her to be able to sit up and walk unaided. Through all this time the neurology team at GOSH were there to support Megan and us.
Fast-forward to the present day: Megan is now in the final year of her Post Digital Production TV Degree. Once again, Megan has a challenge in front of her: this time it is to complete her final year projects while undergoing further surgery to have another shunt replacement.
Running London Marathon
Kerry pledged to raise £10,000 during 2017, to be split between Great Ormond Street Hospital and Sparks Charity.
“I have no other way to thank them for my daughter still being here,” says Kerry.