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2015-01-09 13:15:45
The Gift of Sight For One Teen This Holiday
December 19, 2014 (Jamaica, NY)-Stephanie Ghirardi noticed her 15 year old son Dorian Fernandez kept bumping into walls, was unable to play his favorite video games and falling over clearly visible objects. Her mother’s intuition kicked in- she brought Dorian who is afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where she learned he was rapidly losing his vision and dangerously close to total blindness. Upon close examination by Dr. Dominick Golio a craniofacial surgeon, Dorian was found to also have a rare condition called Fulimant Pseudotumor Cerebri also known as Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IHH).

The cause for this syndrome is unknown, but it affects 1 in 100,000 children. IHH produces increased pressure around the brain including papilledema. This can cause progressive visual loss and optic atrophy. The most common and presenting symptom of the disorder are constant and intense headaches. Other symptoms may include neck stiffness, dizziness or Bell’s palsy.

Treatment usually involves medication or surgery; the ultimate goal is to improve occurring symptoms or preserve vision. In Dorian’s case he required emergency surgery to save his vision. He underwent a procedure called optic nerve sheath decompression at Jamaica Hospital, which releases pressure on the optic nerve and restores blood flow. The probability of Dorian regaining his vision was less than 50%, but he gradually regained his vision while staying in the ICU for a few days. The surgery performed by Dr. Golio was a success. Dorian’s recovery has been positive, his mother Stephanie stated “There is such a big difference and he is moving around just fine”. She continued, “He is shaving now, playing his video games again and he is writing a script-which he won’t tell me much about.” Dorian responded “It’s about a show, a really good show.” His journey will continue with follow up visits and rehabilitation in the future. Dr. Golio is monitoring Dorian’s progress very closely and stated, “He is on the right track so far.”

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center serves a population greater than 1.2 million in Queens and eastern Brooklyn. This 424-bed medical center is an accredited community teaching hospital with a large network of community-based ambulatory care centers. JHMC offers an array of acute inpatient, rehabilitation and mental health services, and is one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in New York City. The hospital provides general medical, pediatric, and dental services, in addition to home health services. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s mission is to serve patients and the community in a way that is second to none. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.

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