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Courtney was having a healthy pregnancy until the situation changed when she underwent her 35th week ultrasound. The results revealed that the foetus had hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the baby’s brain that in cases can cause brain damage. She was sent for an immediate MRI scan which confirmed that the baby had indeed experienced severe brain damage and that Courtney’s child might not survive birth.

Thankfully little Baxter was born and to his family’s relief, he wasn’t sent to the intensive care unit as they had originally expected. However, additional testing confirmed evident brain damage. Baxter wasn’t able to reach his growth and development milestones. He is unable to sit or crawl, communicate effectively through speech, has epilepsy and also has demonstrated signs that suggest a visual impairment. He also suffered from a hearing problem but thanks to the bilateral cochlear implants he had inserted he is now able to hear. His treating doctors officially diagnosed him with cerebral palsy, which causes Baxter to have impaired muscle coordination as a result of his brain damage.

I was worried and felt it was my fault. My husband and I underwent genetic testing, but they weren’t able to find a cause or reason as to why Baxter has developed his condition.’’

A happy baby, Baxter always smiles and tries to interact with people, but he does require medical treatments and constant follow-ups. One of the biggest challenges Baxter’s parents face, is that getting Baxter the attention he needs from healthcare professionals is difficult as they don’t live close to a major city. They often have to resort to virtual sessions with physiotherapists as well as speech and occupational therapists.

Courtney, who was naturally very concerned about her son’s wellbeing and development, felt she needed to be reassured that Baxter was indeed receiving the right treatment and care. She decided to reach out to Best Doctors, to use their renowned Second Opinion service accessible via her insurer.

We live a long way from a major city and a lot of our consultations are done over teleconferencing. It was a true facilitation to find out the Best Doctors service works remotely. I’m very thankful for all the help and organization the Best Doctors team did for us.’’

The medical team at Best Doctors offered Courtney the support she was yearning for and they collected all of Baxter’s medical information and history on her behalf. The team prepared a clinical summary to kick-off Baxter’s second opinion process and selected a renowned paediatric neurologist with a subspecialty in neurodevelopmental disabilities to review Baxter’s case. The specialist agreed with the original diagnosis the boy had received and explained that the cause most likely would have been a congenital CMV infection, a common viral infection that can negatively affect the foetus during pregnancy.

The Best Doctors expert provided Courtney with a thorough report in which he explained what treatments would be most suitable for Baxter. Courtney couldn’t be more relieved to receive an additional medical confirmation that Baxter is indeed receiving the right treatment.

It took a load of our shoulders to know that we are doing the right thing with our son. This gave us peace of mind that we are not missing out due to distance. It was great to be able to access international studies through the service.”

Thankful for the chance to review Baxter’s case, the Best Doctors expert encourages Courtney and her family to remain optimistic, as the future is difficult to predict.

Even though Baxter will always need special care, Courtney now knows they are following the right treatment path.

  Best Doctors expert report brings peace of mind to a young mother  

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This is a real Best Doctors case. In order to respect and maintain the patient’s privacy, personal details have been modified. Photographs are used for illustrative purposes only. A second medical opinion is not intended to substitute professional medical advice or provide a medical diagnosis or therapeutic recommendations on its own and the outcome does not represent or guarantee that anyone will obtain a similar result, as the case will vary depending, among other circumstances, on the information provided to Best Doctors. It is prohibited to copy, use or publish the content or parts of the content of this case story without the express permission of Best Doctors. Best Doctors and the star-in-cross logo are trademarks