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Ollie’s story: Two thumbs up after Kidney Stone surgery

Two thumbs up from Ollie
19 April 2021

Say hi to Ollie, he’s seven years old and recently made the 700 mile round trip over from Northern Ireland for treatment here at Sheffield Children’s.

When Ollie was just four months old he began to suffer with kidney stones, which can usually be treated at his local hospital.

His mum, Lucy said: “He went for regular extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) treatments over here in Ireland on numerous occasions to help break up smaller stones so they could pass as a powder.

“On two occasions though the stones had grown very large and presented as ‘staghorn’ stones – which are a bit more difficult to treat.”

These ‘staghorn’ stones require a procedure called Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL). This is a form of keyhole surgery which is carried out through a small cut in the skin. On the first occasion, Ollie was “only a wee baby and it all went very smoothly”, but the second visit would prove slightly trickier.

Lucy added: “This procedure cannot be done in Northern Ireland on children as we do not have the equipment, so that is why we were referred to Sheffield Children’s both times – an adventure for Ollie!

“The surgeons this time were met with a much greater challenge; Ollie’s entire kidney was completely filled with a substance known as matrix which is a jelly like substance that goes on to form stones. It took them a very long time to complete the operation, but Caroline MacDonald, Prasad Godbole and the whole team did amazingly well. They really looked after Ollie.”

Following his surgery, Ollie spent ten days recovering on Ward 1 where he met lots of our Sheffield Children’s team.

Lucy said: “It was quite daunting only being allowed to travel on my own with Ollie due to COVID-19. We had a plane, two trains and a taxi to get to Sheffield so it was quite stressful but when we got there all the team at Sheffield Children’s helped us forget those stresses.”

“All the staff were fantastic. Cleaners, surgeons, nurses, doctors, play specialists, teachers… every single person made our whole experience a lot easier. I really cannot thank them enough!”

Ollie will continue to have treatment both here and at home Northern Ireland. Thank you for sharing your story Ollie. 

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