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Gavin Rushes In
Written by Jan Sudakoff (Grandmother)

I would like to share my story about my daughter, Heather, and her new baby boy, Gavin. I wanted to share with you on the "miraculous" happenings. Gavin is now 7 weeks old and doing great!!

Heather was scheduled for a C-section and she went into labor earlier than expected. Gavin was born 6/9/14 (37 weeks, came out 7 pounds, 14 ounces and, was 21 inches). He came out sooo strong and his vitals were great that Dr. Muhonen (the neurosurgeon) decided to let Heather and Morgan keep the baby with them for about 6 hours before transferring him to the NIC unit at CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County). Originally, it was planned that Gavin was going immediately to be monitored for the upcoming surgery.

Long story short, the doctor decided to try another procedure, other than the shunt that was originally decided on. He put a scope into the soft spot, into the 3rd ventricle and bypassed the blockage.

Gavin has been closely monitored and has had a couple ultrasounds, but the doctor is very pleased with Gavin's progress and has said he does not feel that Gavin will ever need additional surgeries and that the procedure is working very well. What a Miracle God has given all of us!!

Dr. Muhonen stated that this procedure is done in France on newborns but, rarely done in the States because it is only 65% successful.

I want to thank NHF for all the information and the reassurance that having hydrocephalus is OK, and that a normal life can occur. Your kind words and information gave us additional hope through the final 6 weeks while Heather was carrying the baby. The stress and worry was still constant, but doable, knowing he could live a normal life.

Of course, we do not know anything about the future milestones Gavin will go through, but he is doing great, gaining weight and growing longer every day. My daughter and her new family are grateful to God and all those that prayed and gave advice during this precious little boy's entrance to the world.

Thanks again, I am eternally grateful!!!

ETV on Newborn
Written by Michael G. Muhonen, MD
Appeared in the Fall 2014 Newsletter

I first met Gavin while he was in his mother’s womb. He clearly had hydrocephalus, and I knew that he would be in need of some type of CSF diversion procedure. An MRI performed after birth confirmed aqueductal stenosis. However, the hydrocephalus was not as severe as would be expected with this diagnosis. The stenosis involved only a tiny portion of the bottom of the aqueduct. This led me to believe that this was a late-onset of hydrocephalus, as compared to first trimester of hydrocephalus, where the head tends to be extremely large in size. While I would typically implant a VP shunt in a baby with hydrocephalus, Gavin had a different pattern that made me believe that he might respond to an Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy.

On June 10th, Gavin underwent a successful fenestration of the floor of the third ventricle. Immediately after surgery, the fontanel was concave. Follow-up ultrasounds of the brain show good brain growth and improvement in the size of the ventricles. I am very optimistic that Gavin will never need a shunting device!

It is not typical to do a Third Ventriculostomy in newborns. It has been tried previously, with limited success. The limited success is because the infant’s head tends to expand in size if they have never used normal CSF circulation pathways. However, some babies are reasonable candidates, and normal CSF circulation can be re-established by certain endoscopic procedures. I urge all parents to discuss this surgical option with their neurosurgeon.

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