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Children exhibit more bravery than adults, often with great rewards

Headache is a common enough malady and it would be well nigh impossible to find one person who has not suffered it at least once in his life time. Children are no exception to this rule. However, unlike adults who may have several harmless reasons for a headache, frequent recurrence of the affliction among children needs to be taken seriously. This does not mean that every headache in a child is a sign of brain tumour. Far from it: Childhood migraines are common enough.

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However, if headaches are persistent, get worse over time and are accompanied by vomiting particularly in the mornings, then surely its time to sit up and take notice. Brain tumours are common among children of all age and while some are benign the majority happen to be malignant. The very thought of their children going through a brain surgery can be shattering for parents. But the little ones themselves take it surprisingly well if we are able to explain it to them in their language, at their level.

Sure, they exhibit apprehension as they enter the unfamiliar environment of an operation theatre. It’s often necessary for the surgeons and the anaesthetist to become familiar with the kids a day before and ensure they are present when they arrive in the operating room. Though the surgical attire may confuse them, they recognise voices brilliantly. It’s the responsibility of the whole team to calm them down till they get anaesthetised.

Paediatric brain surgery demands uncompromising skill and attention of the surgical, anaesthetic and critical care teams. Though state-of-the-art neurosurgery leads to total removal of malignant tumours in a great majority of cases, the real challenge is involved in breaking the news.

These tender kids need a lot of support from doctors, parents and repeated explanations to their curious questions. Some have interesting complaints about all of us including their own parents. Their demands are simple like toys and ice creams with rewarding results. What fascinates me is they don’t unnecessarily worry and become cheerful and playful unless they are in pain.

This single quality helps their recovery dramatically. Unfortunately, they do go through a lot of pain, agony and a variety of problems; but they do not dwelling too much into them. The other great quality is once assured of complete cure they are prepared for anything with explicit belief. I wish adults too could emulate this quality. In this respect they deserve the highest bravery award that a country can offer. They face their problems with much greater composure and resolve. The greatest reward for us is to see them return to their best form.

Some are extremely brave and stoic and do discuss and participate in decision-making involving detailed case analysis. One such fit case for a bravery award is Ms Anoushka, who always bubbled with energy even after the diagnosis unmindful of the suffering she had to endure. She came out of all her troubles with flying colours. That apart, she has decided to be a ROLE MODEL by sharing her motivational story with all others who may be in a similar situation in life.

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