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Meet Ollie, the only boy in town with a ceramic skull
MOST children will have sinus infections at some point in their lives.
But few will end up having half of their skull removed as a result.
Nine-year-old Ollie Kirk, from East Hanney is believed to be the first person in the country to have a “ceramic” implant installed in his skull.
He contracted an infection in February which caused his brain to swell dramatically.
Doctors at the John Radcliffe Hospital were forced to saw off the left side of his skull and leave him in a three-day coma to allow his body to recover.
Now, five months on, he has had the missing portion of his skull replaced with a revolutionary new technique.
Paediatric neurosurgeon Dr Shailendra Magdum inserted in Ollie’s head a piece of “fake” skull, tailor-made to fit his head.
The material, which is similar to coral, is porous.
That means that as Ollie’s skull grows it will fuse with the synthetic bone, healing over the hole.
Dr Magdum said it is the first time that the technique has been used in the UK.
Now, Ollie is back at home recovering, and rearing to get back to Moulsford Prep school in September.
His mum Liz Kirk, a self-employed business consultant, said: “He is amazing.
“He was walking around within two or three days. He is very resilient physically and mentally.”
Ollie’s mum and dad David first noticed something was wrong when his eyes began drooping and he suffered headaches.
His brain was swelling and pushing against his eyes from behind. Because of his youth, Ollie was more susceptible to an infection.
Dr Magdum said Ollie’s was one of the biggest brain inflammations he had seen, but he had been a star patient.
“He is doing absolutely fine,” he said. “He went home after three days but was very well. He’s done brilliantly.”
Because the skull implant will be able to grow with Ollie, it will not restrict the growth of his brain and affect his intelligence.
Most children will contract several sinus infections in their life, but it is very rare for it to spread to the brain in this way, Dr Magdum said.
Before his operation, Mrs Kirk said, Ollie did an “awful lot of sport”, playing for East Hanney football team and rugby for Wallingford RFC, as well as school sports. She added: “He hasn’t turned into a couch potato. Now he needs to build back his strength.”
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