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Lauren Lackey: Saved by Superglue

An otherwise pleasant picture day took a drastic turn for fourth-grader Lauren Lackey and her parents.  That morning, Mark Lackey was called to his daughter's Cypress-area school after Lauren complained of dizziness to the school nurse.  When he arrived at the school, Lauren couldn't stand or even sit without slumping over.

Her father called 9-1-1, and she was rushed by ambulance to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center – an anxiety-filled ride during which Lauren slipped into a coma.

Lauren's initial test results showed alarming blood vessel abnormalities, and a call was made to bring in Mischer Neuroscience Institute's Dr. Roc Chen, one of the nation's foremost experts in cerebrovascular neurosurgery. Dr. Chen carefully examined Lauren's severely swollen and pressurized brain using a catheter inserted through the groin, and discovered that occlusions in most of her venous sinuses were blocking major vein passages, causing a backup of blood in her brain. Her situation was dire.

Sandy Lackey, Lauren's mother, recalls Dr. Chen's description of what was happening to the blood flow inside her brain as a 10-lane highway with eight or nine lanes closed. Lauren, she was also told, was "swimming with sharks."

Dr. Chen operated on Lauren for nine hours over two days, injecting 10-cubic centimeters of a glue called Onyx® to seal the malformations and help reroute Lauren’s blood flow back to normal levels.  The surgery was a success, and the Saturday after she was brought to the hospital, Lauren woke from anesthesia to be with her parents, only remembering that she had felt dizzy in the school nurse's office.

Hear the story firsthand from Lauren's parents and Dr. Chen in the video above.