Nine year old ready for brain surgery - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Nine year old ready for brain surgery

October 3, 2004

Sylvester- Nine year old Dezmande Hope knows just about all there is to know about dinosaurs.

"What is the smallest dinosaur," his mother Vontresia asks.

"Coelophysis," quickly answers Dezmande.

When he's feeling well even his mother can't stump him, but when he's not it's a different story.

"Migraines, and then my eyes turn blood red, I feel nauseous, I feel sick," he explains.

"I knew all the while it was something but I just didn't know what it was," his mother says.

Fortunately doctors at Emory did. Dezmande was born with a rare brain disorder called chiari malformation. The only way to ease his pain is going under the knife.

"A brain pulses inside the skull. Dezmande does not have enough room for his brain to pulse. His brain bumps up against his skull this causes migraines," Vontresia explains.

In addition to his migraines, Dezmande has lived with double vision for the past six weeks, but none of his ailments have stopped him from going to school, getting straight A's, and hopefully becoming a scientist.

"My mom and my grandmother encourage me so I won't be scared of having surgery and my sister encourages me so I won't be scared," he says.

In addition to his big sister Adrienne, Dezmande draws strength from his mentor and pastor Calvin Wells.

"He's not questioning God why am I like this. It's like God use me in this situation so I can help others come out of this situation," Wells says.

The fourth grader says he's ready to have the surgery and hopes his story can inspire others to rely on family, faith and their own self determination to help them overcome any challenge.

Dezmande has one more doctor's appointment before his brain surgery is scheduled.

Posted at 5:45 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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