Oswald set for second surgery

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Two-year-old Ian Blake Oswald is set to undergo additional brain surgery in Phoenix on August 5.

Oswald, the son of Greenville native Tony Oswald, a 1984 GHS graduate, and his former wife, Dyan Grant, underwent surgery in January of this year to remove two tumors from his brain. The bilateral tumors

were the result of a rare disease called hypothalmic hamartoma.

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These tumors occur in only one out of 500,000 births.

Doctors at Pheonix’s Barrows Neurological Institute, part of Saint Joseph’s Hospital, were able to remove most, but not all, of the tumors during the January operation.

Following the initial surgery, the rate of seizures the little boy suffered dropped from more than 100 a day, to less than 20.

Today, Ian Blake is on two anti-seizure medications, and averages only three to four seizures each day.

However, at age 26 months, the child is developmentally &uot;only in the 15- to 18-month range,&uot; his father said.

While Ian is currently undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapies several times a week, further surgery should help him advance more quickly, his father said.

&uot;The doctors believe this surgery will help Ian be able to catch up to where he should be developmentally,&uot; Oswald said.

Oswald says he and Ian’s mother are both &uot;nervous and hopeful&uot; in anticipation of the August 5 surgery.

&uot;The last surgery went pretty well, and it was a lot more invasive. This time it will be performed by scope, with much less blood loss expected,&uot; Oswald said.

&uot;They’ll be going in from the left side to check out that tumor and then go straight through to the right side, where they know a portion of the tumor remains,&uot; he explained.

Barring any complications, Ian will be expected to remain in the hospital a minimum of four-five days.

&uot;We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and ask folks to continue to pray,&uot; Oswald said. Those interested in updates on Ian’s case, or who wish to donate to a medical expense fund set up for him can learn more by going to Ian’s Web site, mysite.verizon.net/res7in7m. Oswald may also be contacted at (334) 303-6306.