'Super' Glue Which Can Save Babies' Lives

03/12/2009 09:44 | Updated 22 May 2015

Dafi Evans may look like an ordinary happy toddler, but behind the cute smile is an extraordinary story.

He was born with a rare condition which usually kills babies within three or four days.

But when he was just one day old Dafi was given a revolutionary new treatment. He was injected with a tissue adhesive similar to superglue, which blocked the affected parts of his brain.

Now at sixteen-months-old, Dafi is able to lead a relatively normal life. His mum Catrin understandably describes the treatment as 'a miracle'

For 10% of children the treatment is ineffective and Dr. Stefan Brew, who performs the procedure, describes it as being "incredibly stressful".

"No matter how careful you are, there's an element of chance to it," said Dr. Brew, adding "What is known is that if you don't treat them, they die."

Vein of Galen malformation causes a rush of blood to the heart, putting it under extreme pressure leading to heart failure.

Treatment involves injecting Histoacryl, a glue commonly used in hospitals to seal open wounds, via a catheter in the child's groin where it travels in the bloodstream to the brain, sealing off the malfunctioning area.

After being told that there was little likelihood her son would live past his first few days, Catrin Evans felt Dr Brew offered the only chance of survival for her baby.

"I was just relieved that somebody was giving some kind of hope even if it didn't work out," she said.

But the gamble paid off and now she is the proud mother of a beautiful little toddler.

"It's been a roller-coaster year but he's well and doing everything that he should; developing as he should," she said. "The work Dr. Brew's done is totally amazing. It's truly amazing."

With a further treatment due in January, it's best wishes to young Dafi, the boy who's brain was fixed with glue.

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