1 March 2023

Cycling challenge for daughter’s brain bleed

Tom Lane lives in Winchester with his wife, Katie, nine-year-old daughter Zoe, and six-year-old son, Max. Earlier this year, Zoe had a sudden bleed on her brain, and was immediately treated in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and G2 Neurological Unit at Southampton Children’s Hospital. He says:

“Zoe is nine years old. She’s a very active young girl, a keen gymnast, enjoys karate, and regularly runs in our local Parkrun with me and her six-year-old brother, Max.

Just before bed on the 1 February 2023, Zoe complained of a headache. She was then sick and started to drift in and out of consciousness.

Immediately we phoned 111 for advice, and an ambulance was dispatched.

We were taken to the emergency department at Winchester Hospital where CT scans revealed that Zoe had had a bleed on her brain.

As the specialist neurological children’s hospital on the south coast, we were then transferred to Southampton Children’s Hospital for urgent treatment.

Zoe spent a few days on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) on a ventilator where they stabilised her condition before transferring her to the G2 Neurological ward.

Luckily, our parents were able to step in and look after Max, so we were able to be by her side the whole time.

It was terrifying as there was nothing we could do for her, but it was reassuring to see how well she was being cared for by the team in Southampton.

Then suddenly a day later, Zoe was rushed back to PICU due to seizures caused by blood in her cerebrospinal fluid.

She was rushed to surgery where they fitted an external ventricular drain (EVD) to relieve the pressure.”

The EVD system is a temporary method using a catheter (a thin, plastic tube), which is placed in the ventricle of the brain. This is connected to a drainage system outside the body.

“We remained in PICU for a few days before we moved back to the G2 Neuro ward for her recovery.

This progressed well, and after staying in hospital for two weeks, the EVD was removed, and we were discharged the following day.

It is still early days in her recovery as it all happened less than a month ago. We still don’t know the cause, so she will continue to be monitored by the hospital for eye tests, CT scans, and an angiogram.

We were blown away by how incredible the staff were! So many people were involved in her care whilst she was in hospital and we can’t thank them enough for the time, love, and professionalism they showed not just to Zoe, but to all of us to make the stay easier.”

Virtual Everest cycle

“On 4 March I will be taking on a virtual cycle to Everest for Southampton Hospitals Charity. This will cover the 8,848m height of Mount Everest, and I hope to also climb the 10,000m of elevation!

I hope to complete this all in the same day, taking around 15 hours!

I’m a keen cyclist but have gotten into virtual indoor cycling since lockdown. It allows me to spend more time with the family, and there’s an incredible online community which I’m actively involved in.

The amazing thing is, I’ve friends who will be riding at different times alongside me virtually in support of the challenge, linked through voice chat, to help pass the time quicker!

This seemed like the perfect challenge to thank the Southampton Children’s Hospital teams for saving Zoe’s life.”

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