Stories of children who have undergone major brain surgery at RCH


Living in outback Queensland at the time, the family had to relocate to Melbourne to access world class care at The Royal Children’s Hospital. Olivia has since undergone two major brain operations to stop her seizures and enable her normal development.

“It is impossible to describe the gratitude I feel when watching a bright young girl growing and developing, running, swimming, playing and having fun. Many or all of these things would not have been possible had simpler but more aggressive surgery been undertaken, or no operation undertaken. The skills of the clinicians at the RCH and the imaging techniques available were critical in this. It is for this reason that we want to ensure as many children as possible have access to this for years to come.” Peter Christen, Olivia’s father


At just five months of age, Clementine Evans started experiencing over 100 seizures a day. The young family were living in London at the time, and relocated to Melbourne to be close to family as Clementine underwent emergency treatment at The Royal Children’s Hospital. At the age of one and a half, she underwent a nine hour brain operation that transformed her condition and future prospects.

Clementine's father Alex says “Boating for Brains is our way of trying to thank the RCH’s Neurology team for salvaging our daughter’s life. High quality neuroimaging was key to understanding Clementine’s condition and the incredible procedure undertaken to bring her back to us. We want to ensure the Neurology team can rely on having imaging capabilities indefinitely, so that other parents are able to access the same level of care and expertise we received.”


Flynn's story (aged 17)

If you're a parent with a sick child and live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - your'e extremely lucky, you've won Tattslotto! Our family will never forget the dedicated Royal Children’s Hospital Epilepsy team who over the last 10 years has just done their jobs! However their jobs save and change peoples lives.

We hold up and cheer our sporting heroes, however the nurses, specialists, scientists and surgeons of the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne actually change lives; it's real life, not a game! Google these names: Cathy Bailey, Dr Simon Harvey, Kathryn Santamaria, Wirginia Maixner. They are the real world number 1 ranked team. Parents from all over the world search these names every minute of the day desperate for the World Number 1 team to help their children. 

On behalf of parents that have been blessed to receive your care, thank you for going the extra mile and having an absolute crack, working all weekend after an already exhausting long week.

For those parents who don't have a child that's required assistance from these life-changing saints, you've already won Tattslotto! However if you're like our family, who has lived and breathed the Royal Children’s Hospital over a 10 year period, these world number 1's won’t give up or forget how important your son's life is and strive and leave no stone unturned to find a cure!

Finally, as a boy who grew up in Noble Park whom dislikes those that say I'm lucky - you know what, after this week I concede, you'rr right, I am the luckiest man in town and not everyone has a Kristen, Flynn, Spencer and Charlie in their lives. Thank you Royal Children’s Hospital Epilepsy and Neurosurgery team, my family will be forever indebted!

Mathew Wood



Winston's story (aged 10)

Just before Winston turned 2 he suffered his first seizure. It lasted 4 days and left him like he’d had a severe stroke.
With intense rehab and various medications he started school with his cohort.
During grade 2 the seizures increased significantly. His learning stagnated and his ability to play with the other kids became limited. By grade 4 he was seizing throughout the day. No medication or therapy could stop them. He couldn’t be more than a few metres from an adult.
In August 2017, Win underwent completely life changing brain surgery, a hemispherotomy, at The Royal Children’s Hospital.
He hasn’t had a seizure since and hasn’t looked back.
He’s back at school full time with his amazing teachers and friends. Learning to live the life of an independent 10 year old.
We can not thank the team at the hospital enough for giving us our little man back.
Life has no guarantees, but these guys have given our man the chance at a future we could never have dreamed of.