Andover boy, 15, makes 'miracle recovery' from rare brain aneurysm

  • Report by ITV Meridian's Natalie Verney

A teenager who was given just a 50% chance of survival and couldn’t walk or talk after suffering a rare brain aneurysm has thanked medical experts at Southampton Children’s Hospital after making a remarkable recovery.

Fifteen-year-old Warrick Allon’s life was turned upside down in April this year when he collapsed at his home in Andover, just minutes after complaining of a headache.

Warrick was rushed to hospital and had emergency surgery after it emerged that he had had a brain haemorrhage.

He survived a gruelling six-hour operation but was unable to walk, talk or eat after developing posterior fossa syndrome, a serious condition that can occur following brain surgery.

Warrick’s mum Krissie Thatcher said: "Everything from speaking, eating, swallowing, showering (and) getting dressed … he had to relearn."

Thanks to the specialist rehabilitation team at Southampton Children’s Hospital, Warrick made progress which amazed everyone around him during his two months in hospital.

Warrick’s neurosurgeon Aabir Chakraborty, said: "It is wonderful just to see how well he has done. Children are quite amazing.

"They get better in a way that I never would and this is the wonderful gift that I have in being a paediatric neurosurgeon."

After leading the medical team who carried out Warrick’s emergency surgery, Chakraborty set Warrick a special personal challenge as he learnt to talk again, asking his patient to greet him by name as soon as he was able.

Talking to someone in a coffee shop is something most of us take for granted, but for Warrick and his family, a chance encounter with his neurosurgeon was a sure sign that he was on the road to recovery.

Warrick’s dad Dave Allon said: "We ended up seeing (Mr Chakraborty) in Costa… and Warrick sure enough piped up and went 'Hello, Mr Chakraborty'."

Warrick’s mission to learn to talk again was boosted by an unlikely source: rap music.

He explained: “I said to my speech therapist that I liked to make music sometimes … so they made a session for me to make a rap over a couple of days."

Warrick is now back at school part-time and getting better every day as he starts to get back to normal life, but he will never forget the team in Southampton who helped him along the way.

He said: "I just want to say thank you, because realistically I wouldn’t be doing any of this … without them helping me."