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Father walking 50km overnight to fundraise for brain surgery device that saved his daughter

A pioneering brain surgery operation that saved a baby girl at King’s College Hospital is inspiring her father to walk 50km overnight to raise money for another specialist device that saved his daughter, writes Josh Mellor…

Richard Begbey’s 14-month-old daughter Octavia was saved by an operation using a specially adapted neuroendoscope, so he’s walking from Kent to London to raise money for a second one.

King’s consultant neurosurgeon Dr Bassel Zebian used the device to perform the equivalent of keyhole surgery on the brain to remove a golf ball sized tumor from Octavia’s skull in January 2018.

Richard Begbey said: “For twelve hours overnight before surgery Charlotte and I walked Octavia up and down the hospital corridors to help her find peace and sleep.

“That’s why on 10th May, exactly one year from Octavia’s last surgery, I will be re-living the twelve hours of overnight walking I did in the hospital by walking 50km from my home to my office overnight to raise £15,000 needed to buy Kings College Hospital a second of these uniquely modified neuroendoscopes.”

After 22 hours of surgery 80% of Octavia’s life-threatening tumour and fluid build up was removed from her brain through a hole in her skull only 9mm wide.

Octavia had her last surgery on 10 May last year and is doing exceptionally well, with no signs of brain damage and her parents say the surgery has had no negative effects on her at all.

The adapted neuroendoscope uses ultrasonic vibration to fragment tumours in difficult to access parts of the brain without cutting or harming other parts of the skull.

Dr Zebian said: “The difficulty neuroendoscopic surgeons often face is the control of bleeding and the lack of adequate instrumentation.

“With our modification of existing instruments we have been able to push the limits of minimally invasive resections in the best interest of our patients and we are increasingly able to resect even large, deep, solid tumours with one of the biggest cases series in the world.”

As of today the walk’s fundraising page has raised £11,390, to donate visit: https://fticonsulting.benevity.org/community/fundraiser/view/43

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