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Local doctor helps child with potentially fatal condition

Girl with vascular malformation gets help from local doctor

Imagine something is wrong structurally within your child's brain and doctors can't pinpoint the problem.

Seven-year-old Kaiden Olsen is a bright and funny little girl.

She and her family have lived on a medical rollercoaster for the last year.

Kaiden's health worries began with trouble seeing the lesson board in school.

A visit to the eye doctor turned into an appointment to check for a possible tumor behind her eye.

But that wasn’t the problem. So multiple MRIs and cat scans ensued.

Four medical centers, including one very prestigious one in the northeast, yielded different answers. Something was going on within Kaiden's veins from her brain stem, to her cheek, neck and down her spine.

Finally, the Saint Augustine family was referred to Sacred Heart Hospital's pediatric neurosurgeon, Matthew Pearson.

Kaiden has an extremely rare and complex vascular malformation.

Pearson says the mass of veins may grow over time and involve other organs.

“If it's an arterial led system under pressure, then we start worrying about things like strokes, catastrophic hemorrhages" said Pearson

Remarkably, Kaiden's had very few symptoms. But you can see some of the vein mass on her neck and at the base of her skull.

Pearson says one option is to clip the blood supply to the unneeded veins through Kaiden's brain stem. But with few symptoms, Pearson has decided to monitor Kaiden’s brain anatomy and wait.

Her parents will watch for swelling of her neck area.

Doctor Pearson does have some great news, after missing PE and recess all of kindergarten, she's now cleared to play as hard as she wants.