Help found for woman with failing experimental shunt

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by Christine LaCroix

azfamily.com

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 9 at 6:05 PM

PHOENIX -- Carissa Galvez will finally get the help she needs after her experimental shunt failed and she was turned away by multiple doctors in Phoenix.

Carissa has a rare genetic mutation that causes excessive swelling in her brain. Five years ago, she was given an experimental shunt to drain the swelling. That shunt started to fail about three weeks ago, causing intense pain that landed Carissa at Banner Good Samaritan with extremely high blood pressure and a resting heart rate of 155.
No doctor at Banner had the ability to remove the shunt. The doctor that originally implanted it was unreachable. The family and Banner reached out to doctors at hospitals across Phoenix, but because of the experimental nature of the shunt, no one would remove it.
“We were hitting roadblocks,” said Carissa’s mother Daniella Galvez.
3TV was flooded with emails and phone calls after Carissa’s story originally aired, and by Monday the family had good news to report from University Medical Center in Tucson.
“We’re admitted by accepting doctors in the hospital,” said Daniella, “They have this guy that is good with shunts.”
That man is Dr. Weinand, a neurosurgeon who has agreed to fix Carissa’s shunt.
“This doctor thinks that maybe all it needs is to be dialed, or adjusted. If that’s the case she will be better in a few days. If its broken, then he promised he will take it out and put in a new one, said Daniella.
That means relief for the 20-year-old who has been in pain so excruciating she could not move for the past three weeks.
“I’m so happy I’m crying,” said Daniella.

Brain surgery goes bad, now no doctor can help woman

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