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Hydrocephalus Awareness Week 2020 - Marc

12th February 2020


Marc's Story...

Hydrocephalus is not predictable -
take each day as it comes.

Born without complications, Marc’s hydrocephalus was not detected at birth. His dad, a medical doctor, noticed his head circumference was out of proportion and upon further investigation hydrocephalus was diagnosed. Marc was then fitted with a shunt at 2 weeks old.

Marc says: “As a young child I didn’t have any cognitive issues although there was some delay in early childhood milestones like learning to crawl. Then when I was 8 my dad noticed bruising on my neck, and after assessing it, took me to hospital. It turned out my shunt had broken.”

“During surgery to correct this, a bleed occurred in my brain, and I was in a coma for several days. It was a terrifying time for my family. When I awoke, I had lost the ability to read or write correctly and had no ability to form short-term memories. I repeatedly asked for drinks and couldn’t remember having just had one. I also found it much harder to re-learn key skills, or to learn new skills and retain information.”

Marc has had three surgeries related to his cerebral palsy, and after the initial ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement as a toddler for hydrocephalus, has had four further shunt revisions. The last surgery, in 2013, was to convert the ventriculoperitoneal shunt to a ventriculoarterial shunt, and to fit the innovative BACTISEAL ® shunt.

Following initial research funded by Shine, a novel process – the BACTISEAL catheter – was developed, which allowed shunts to be impregnated with two slow-release antibiotics during manufacture.

A subsequent study – the BASICS trial – showed that the BACTISEAL ® catheter offered a remarkable breakthrough, as overall infection rates dropped from 6% to 2%, and in some patient groups, were even completely eliminated.

Ground-breaking progress like this will make an enormous impact on those living with the condition, as Marc knows only too well.


Listen to Marc's interview on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire raising awareness of hydrocephalus during Hydrocephalus Awareness Week 2020 here


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