Thursday, July 10, 2008


A Hartcliffe boy has defied medical experts by walking again only a month after a life-threatening hemorrhage caused a stroke.

Three times, Kray Mundy's parents were warned to fear the worst after he was taken ill on June 7.

The 11-year-old, from Hartcliffe, was paralyzed on his left side and doctors told his mum Soniya and dad Adrian that it could take two years for him to get his mobility back.

But the Teyfant school pupil has amazed his family, nurses, doctors and other medical staff by getting back on his feet.

He is recovering so well that he has already been allowed a weekend visit to his home in Pavey Close to see his sister Shannon, 13, brother Kydis, eight, and baby brother Harry, aged two.

"He is an absolute miracle," said Soniya, 32.

"He was so determined to pull through and to take his first steps. Now he is working hard with physiotherapists and occupational therapists to get movement back in his hand and arm."

The family say they are immeasurably grateful to all the NHS staff who have helped them over the past few weeks.

Soniya said: "Without the amazing consultant paediatric neurosurgeon Mr Mike Carter and his team, our son would not have survived.

"We cannot thank the wonderful nurses and staff in Frenchay's high-dependency unit and the Barbara Russell unit, their counterparts at the children's hospital and the paramedics enough.

"We are forever in their debt."

The drama began shortly after 5.30am one Saturday when Soniya and Adrian, 48, were woken by their toddler Harry.

They heard an odd sound, which they soon discovered was Kray trying to call for help.

They dialled 999 and their son was taken by ambulance to the children's hospital, then, after a CT scan revealed a bleed in the brain, to the specialist unit at Frenchay.

His condition worsened, although he was still conscious.

Soniya said: "All he could say was, 'I love you mum'."

Further tests showed that a blood vessel malformation, known as an AVM in Kray's brain, which he might have had since birth, had ruptured and caused an acute stroke.

"He couldn't speak, feel his whole left side or see," said Soniya.

Doctors had to operate immediately, putting in a drainage system to the brain and a device to measure pressure. At that time they felt it was too dangerous to operate to remove the clot or AVM - but by Sunday night Kray was deteriorating and doctors opted for further surgery.

Senior staff nurse Jo Jones supported the parents throughout the eight-hour op. Soniya said: "She was our guardian angel.

"But it was tough. They could not give me the answers I wanted to hear. They couldn't tell me whether Kray would be all right. They didn't know what would happen."

After the operation Mr Carter was confident that the clot and AVM had been removed and things were looking up. But a few days later, Kray began to feel very ill.

"He was ventilated again to allow the brain to rest and stop swelling and he was transferred to the children's hospital. Then, on the Saturday, another amazing doctor, Daniel Low, took a chance on taking Kray off the ventilator. He even played him the Star Wars theme on his mobile phone to help him come round."

Back at Frenchay, Kray was in a lot of pain and there were fears that the stroke had done permanent damage to nerve endings - but in fact it was the feeling returning to his limbs.

Soniya said: "Things took a turn for the better from then. At first he was like a jelly baby, he had no strength in his body, but he was so determined. Every day he has just got stronger and stronger."

Soniya paid tribute to her son for his quiet bravery and spirit.

"He has never cried and never once complained. He has just taken on every challenge," she said.

Soniya and Adrian have received great support from extended family and from friends. Imperial Rugby Club, where they are members, held a fundraising event to help them.

Kray has also had dozens of cards, including many from school friends, and one from his heroes at Bristol Rugby Club. Pals George, Jack and Danielle have been especially supportive.

"Our lives have been changed for ever by what has happened," said Soniya. "We never left the hospital in 15 days and I didn't think I would ever see Kray walk again. We are so lucky to have had a positive outcome.


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