Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How the Wizards of Oz Helped Sebastian; When Anna and Louis Selo Took Their Son Sebastian to Australia for Pioneering Surgery to Remove a Rare Brain Tumour There Were No Guarantees. but, Mrs Selo Tells Health Reporter Zoe Morris, the Results Have Been "Miraculous"

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How the Wizards of Oz Helped Sebastian; When Anna and Louis Selo Took Their Son Sebastian to Australia for Pioneering Surgery to Remove a Rare Brain Tumour There Were No Guarantees. but, Mrs Selo Tells Health Reporter Zoe Morris, the Results Have Been "Miraculous"

Article excerpt

Byline: ZOE MORRIS

NINE-YEAR-OLD Sebastian Selo was told by his parents that he was travelling to Australia to see the Wizard of Oz - somebody who could "magically" release him from the daily struggle to survive and make sense of the world.

A rare tumour, which was diagnosed when he was just nine months old, left Sebastian prone to daily epileptic fits and impaired vision. Paralysis down his right side - due to a failed operation by London surgeons to remove the tumour five years ago - meant he constantly salivated, had little use of his right arm and walked with a limp and the aid of a plastic splint.

The tumour, known as hypothalamic hamartoma, also affected the part of the brain which deals with rational thought and he was left with behavioural problems and symptoms similar to autism. It was impossible to take Sebastian to unfamiliar environments, so the trip to Australia was a huge undertaking and he needed to be sedated during the flight.

Having raised [pound]25,000 to fund the treatment at the Royal Children's Hospital, in Melbourne, and the flights and accommodation, Anna and Louis Selo had one hope: that their son would be free from fits, which could be life threatening, and might see some improvement in his behaviour. Now, less than two weeks after the major surgery, Mrs Selo fights back the tears as she tells of the amazing and unexpected recovery her son is making.

Within a day of the operation to remove the tumour using sound waves, Sebastian was awake. The next day, his parents noticed that Sebastian was looking them straight in the face for the first time.

In the past, it was something he only did as he was about to have a seizure.

But now his right eye has synchronised with his left.

And before Sebastian was discharged from hospital on Friday, a neurologist confirmed what his parents had suspected - that his brain is free from the tumour and beginning to work properly despite damage done by a massive stroke during unsuccessful surgery at King's College Hospital five years ago. …

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