Double brain operation saves youngsters’ lives

Life saver: Owen Wilkinson, dad Mark, mum Caroline and neurosurgeon Saurabh Sinha.
Life saver: Owen Wilkinson, dad Mark, mum Caroline and neurosurgeon Saurabh Sinha.
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Two boys’ lives were saved simultaneously thanks to emergency brain surgery at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Owen Wilkinson, aged eight, from Monk Bretton, Barnsley, seemed fine after a minor fall in the school playground.

Owen Wilkinson with neurosurgeon Saurabh Sinha.

Owen Wilkinson with neurosurgeon Saurabh Sinha.

But the Mapplewell Primary pupil started feeling sick and his mum Caroline, deputy head at the school, took him to Barnsley Hospital, where he was referred to Sheffield.

“When I was told Owen had a skull fracture and a severe bleed on the brain, it was as though I was in an imaginary bubble - you never think it will happen to your child.”

Caroline and husband Mark were awaiting news of Owen from the theatre when they met another couple, whose 12-year-old son had also been rushed to surgery - with the very same condition.

“Mark recognised the other boy’s father from football,” said Caroline.

“When we realised the boys needed the same emergency operation it made us even more anxious about them.”

Staff at the hospital opened two theatres and consultant neurosurgeon Saurabh Sinha and his team were able to operate on the two boys simultaneously, managing to save both of their lives.

Caroline said: “Saving two lives like that at the same time takes such a highly skilled and dedicated team and we thank them all from the bottom of our hearts.

“These people are special in every way, Mr Sinha and his team are dedicated professionals who go beyond the call of duty and perform miracles on a weekly basis.”

Owen’s family have now raised £4,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity, to help fund medical equipment for the hospital’s theatres.