Published by ICSEB at 5 January, 2017
Surgery date: June 2016
Miss De Oliveira tells us that she was not able top lay and run like other children when she was little because she suffered from pain and breathing difficulties. Her situation got worse in her teens as the pain increased in the head and body, together with fatigue and tremors in legs and eyes. There was a deterioration of the symptoms at the age of seventeen and she saw many physicians of different specialties over the next two years and received different diagnoses, from sinusitis to chronic headache. At the age of 19 she found out through a MRI scan that she had the Arnold-Chiari Syndrome I in an advanced stage. Her neurologist advised to undergo decompression surgery.
Miss De Oliveira noticed due to her personal experience that generally physicians do not know this condition well and they offered the craniectomy as the only treatment option. After having undergone the mentioned procedure, her symptoms had gotten even worse. She had to stop working and studying, and her life was practically reduced to taking remedies for her pains.
The patient set out to search the Internet to find out if in the world there are other methods to treat the condition and that is how she came across the Institut Chiari de Barcelona, which offered a treatment completely different to that at other centres. 20 days after the operation, Miss De Oliveira tells us that she is feeling better, without pain, less tired and she feels something new in her body every day. “It is as if I was learning to live.”
To conclude, Miss De Oliveira sends a message to others who may be feeling despair because they have been diagnosed with the Arnold-Chiari Syndrome I. “If you have the opportunity, do not get the craniectomy done. I know that it may seem impossible for many; the Institut Chair is a private centre where you have to pay a high Price, but if you have the chance, come to Barcelona to get the surgery so that you can learn to live and fly again, as did I.”
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