Surgery — and superglue — saved 3-week-old Ashlyn Julian’s life this week.
Keith Myers Three-week-old Ashlyn Julian got a kiss from her mother, Gina Julian, on Friday at University of Kansas Hospital. Ashlyn had a brain aneurysm that was repaired with superglue.
The little girl was suffering from a rare, life-threatening condition in infants, and a team of doctors at University of Kansas Hospital needed to stop bleeding in her brain. Surgical superglue was the answer.
Doctors at KU, led by pediatric neurosurgeon Koji Ebersole, believe fewer than 20 procedures similar to the one that saved Ashlyn’s life have been documented in medical literature. The procedure is so rare that this may be the first time superglue has been used to repair an aneurysm in an infant’s brain.
That was on Wednesday. On Friday, Ashlyn was recovering in a hospital room, trying to nap while outside the door her parents wiped away tears and thanked Ebersole.
“I can’t express how incredibly lucky and graced we are,” said Ashlyn’s mother, Gina Julian.
Ashlyn was born without complications on May 16. She was released to go home to Olathe, but in the following weeks it was clear something was wrong. She was tired and vomiting.
Her parents took her at least once to Children’s Mercy South before it became clear the problem was serious, Gina Julian said. An MRI at another Children’s Mercy location revealed an aneurysm the size of an olive.
Brain aneurysms in children are extremely rare because they typically develop over many years, Ebersole said. Doctors don’t know exactly why these aneurysms happen, and Ebersole explained they may never know why it happened to Ashlyn.
Because brain bleeding is so rare in infants, there aren’t even pediatric tools for the procedure. Instead, doctors must use the smallest adult equipment available.more