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Child undergoes 9-hour emergency brain surgery while vacationing in Florida

By Kaycee Sloan,


ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – A young boy is back home just in time for his birthday after he experienced a life-threatening incident while visiting Florida with his family back in December.

Before 12-year-old Anish Srivastava and his family traveled to Orlando, his parents learned that he had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a high-risk tangle of blood vessels in the brain, by chance during an MRI scan for something unrelated.

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Anish was scheduled to have surgery to remove the AVM in January at his home hospital in Seattle, Washington, but the family was given clearance to travel to Orlando for vacation first.

While Anish and his family were visiting one of the local attractions, the AVM in the boys brain ruptured, causing massive bleeding into the brain, extreme pain and the loss of feeling on one side of his body.

According to a press release, Anish was rushed to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer. When he arrived at the hospital, his parents were told of the severity of his condition and he was rushed into the operating room.

“Anish’s surgery was long, but our goal was to keep him safe while taking the pressure off his brain and removing the complex brain AVM and associated aneurysm,” Samer Elbabaa, MD, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer said in a statement. “What matters most is that the immediate danger of this AVM rupturing again is down to 0%.”
Picture courtesy of the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

Following the nine-hour procedure, Anish remained in critical condition at the hospital for several weeks. During that time, he began to regain some strength, putting together small phrases, smiling, and laughing.

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Anish showed so much strength that his care team felt confident enough that it was time for him to return home, where he could have the “continued support of his extended family and friends.”

“We still have a long road ahead of us,” said Radhika Srivastava, Anish’s mother. “It’s bittersweet heading home to Seattle, but I know it’s the right thing for Anish. I get attached to people though, and Orlando Health is family now.”

Earlier this month, Anish flew back to Seattle on a medical flight.

According to Orlando Health, they’ll continue to work with Anish’s care team in Seattle to ensure his recovery continues smoothly.

“I’m excited to be home with family and our close friends to celebrate Anish’s birthday and life. The worst is behind him, and we’re going to celebrate every milestone,” said Radhika.

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