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Mackenzie “Forever Grateful” for the Support of the RCH

Since I began primary school I had been involved in a research study with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute investigating brain development. In 2015 when I was 10, the institute got funding for MRIs at the RCH, which I willingly took part in!

Through these scans, we found that I had an arachnoid cyst centered in my brain. At the time, we had no idea what it meant, and when Mum told me, all I could care about was eating the cookies sitting on the bench next to me.

About 6 months to a year later, I suddenly began experiencing nonstop headaches, elevating during any form of physical activity. Due to this, we reached out to my neurosurgeon who decided to investigate further. In 2017 I received my first brain surgery in hopes of alleviating the pain, and although successful for a month, the pain soon came back. We then decided to just monitor the cyst to see for any growth.

With my symptoms not getting better, and scans showing no size difference, it was decided in 2020 that I would undergo another surgery to place an ICP monitor in my brain for a few days, and then take it out to see if the cyst was causing any pressure (and therefore pain). This showed that the cyst was likely not the cause, meaning that I was once again left with no answers. I began seeing the RCH pain clinic, being discharged from the clinic in late 2021.

Now, 7 years later, I’m currently still seeing an array of specialist clinics within the hospital, and will be forever grateful for all of the support they have provided my family and I, especially whilst being admitted to the hospital during heavy covid visitor restrictions!

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