When Evie-Mae Geurts was just a few months old, she was registered as blind. It’s a difficult prognosis for any parent to hear, that their child will live a more challenging life than others. It’s hundreds of times more difficult when that diagnosis is compounded with another, serious condition.
At eight months old, Evie-Mae’s head started to swell. Doctors discovered she had hydrocephalus, which is the build-up of fluid in the ventricles deep within the brain. She would require a series of brain operations to relieve the pressure and pain, including the placement of passageways that allow fluids to move through the body called shunts. Chances were, she’d regularly be in and out of the hospital to keep the shunts operating.
Doctors told her mother, Amy, that not only would this condition be the reason her sight would be gone forever, but she would never learn to walk and talk.
“Doctors admitted that due to a delay in diagnosis they weren’t sure what would happen,” Amy says.
The older Evie-Mae got, the more odds she defied. At seven years-old, she’s thriving. She doesn’t need glasses to see. She is at the top of her class. And last year, her hydrocephalus disappeared.
This came as a complete shock to the Geurts and doctors alike. Hydrocephalus is usually a condition that cannot be cured. Patients are forced to have shunts and the related surgeries associated with them for the rest of their lives.
“The doctor couldn’t believe it,” Amy says. “He thought we’d be in and out of the hospital every few years because the shunts kept jamming. But it turned out she managed to recover. He said he had never seen it before and he certainly didn’t expect to see it in her.”
Thriving Evie-Mae. Credit: SWNS.
While she will still undergo eye tests every six months to monitor her process, things are looking brought for the little girl. Just a few months ago, doctors took out Evie-Mae’s shunts. They were forced to shave her blonde locks in order to complete the procedure, but for once, it was with good reason.
She went to the hair salon afterwards to even out the cut. When the stylists told her how brave she was, she said, “Just like Eugene cuts Rapunzel’s hair to save her in Tangled, the doctors cut my hair off to save me.”
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