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Caleb was six when he started to complain of “brain aches,” which were
followed by an inability to cope with almost any sound--a crayon rolling
on a desk would have him screaming in pain. Caleb would stay in his dark
room and his mother, Dawn, would play quiet games with him, but his
behavior was becoming as dark as the room and she was afraid she was
Dawn had taken him to doctor after doctor but none of the tests they did
showed anything unusual. When Caleb started complaining that the whole
world looked pink to him, Dawn turned to a neurologist for help. An MRI
was performed and it showed that Caleb had a cyst on his brain…one that
looked like two inflatable balloons about the size of a plum. It was
pressing against Caleb’s skull and causing his many symptoms.
Called arachnoid cysts, they are usually small and asymptomatic causing
no difficulty for the people who have them. But, Caleb’s was a large
mass that was blocking the normal flow of his spinal fluid. And that
meant Caleb was in serious danger.
Fortunately, Caleb’s neurologist, Dr. William Brown knew that Hasbro
Children’s Hospital had Dr. Petra Klinge on staff. Dr. Klinge is a
renowned neurosurgeon who is expert in performing the delicate surgery
needed to deflate the cyst without damaging the brain or the spinal
The surgery went off without a hitch.
“In these kinds of operations, there is always the risk of vascular
bleeding, even stroke. The surgeon has to be extremely careful while
collapsing the cyst. You want to get the spinal fluid flowing again
without disturbing other parts of the brain. With the cyst now
successfully deflated, Caleb’s pain is gone. His MRI looks good and his
other symptoms are abating. He is going to be okay,” Dr. Klinge said
in an interview.