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New lease of life for Sam after successful shunt operation

Date: 28 September 2021

Hydrocephalus patient

Sam Kristiansen was born with congenital Hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid on the brain which can cause lasting damage, and has been managing his condition his whole life. At the age of three he was fitted with a shunt, which, until recently, had been working as it should to drain fluid away from his brain.

Sam, from Wigan, said: “Last June I was experiencing severe headaches and vomiting. Before I knew what was happening I woke up on Caton Ward at The Walton Centre three days later.” Sam’s shunt showed evidence of a blockage, which was allowing excess fluid to put pressure on his brain and make him feel unwell.

The 28 year old Teaching Assistant was rushed to Wigan Royal Albert Edward Infirmary where he was quickly transferred to The Walton Centre for emergency treatment. The fluid was drained manually and Sam had a new shunt fitted to replace the 25 year old one.

“I knew at some point in my adult life that I would have to have the shunt replaced,” Sam continued, “but my body decided that it was time! With the new one in place I’ve got a new lease of life. Since the surgery I’ve been sleeping much better and the painful headaches have subsided considerably. It’s like a large barrier has been taken down.

“All the staff who helped me, particularly those who looked after me on Caton Ward, are amazing and I can’t thank them enough. I’ve been an outpatient at The Walton Centre for several years and it’s always a comfort to have a hospital with staff that genuinely care, so many others can leaving you feeling isolated. I feel optimistic about the future and calmer about my condition because I feel like I’m in safe hands with The Walton Centre.”

-Ends-

Notes to editors

Further information, or to arrange a visit contact the Communications Team on 0151 556 3397 or email wcf-tr.waltoncentre.communications@nhs.net.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. It has twice been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. Although the majority of patients come from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, for some specialist treatments of complex disorders we see patients from all parts of the country, referred by their GPs or other neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain clinicians.

For more information please visit: www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk or follow the Trust on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool L9 7LJ
0151 525 3611

  • Summary:

    Sam Kristiansen was born with congenital Hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid on the brain which can cause lasting damage, and has been managing his condition his whole life. At the age of three he was fitted with a shunt, which, until recently, had been working as it should to drain fluid away from his brain.