At Clyde Primary School we have a student in Year 3 who has a significant medical condition/diagnosis.
At the age of 22 months, Cody Wallace was diagnosed with a choroid plexus papilloma (brain tumour) and hydrocephalus (an excess of cerebral spinal fluid on the brain). This was causing developmental delays in infancy and had it not been discovered when it was, would have claimed his life.
Since then, Cody has had 9 brain operations:
– Three attempts to remove the tumour
– Burr Hole surgery to drain excess fluids following a bleed on the brain
– Insertion of a VP shunt (a permanent valve that drains cerebral spinal fluid from the brain down to his abdomen)
– Two resections of the VP shunt after blockage
– Replacement of the VP shunt valve
– Insertion of an Inter Cranial Pressure monitor to observe pressure levels.
On top of this significant medical history, Cody was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 2010 which has brought with it a multitude of problems. These have caused significant brain damage to Cody making the simple task of attending school a challenge.
As a result of the numerous surgeries, Cody’s head is a very sensitive area and something he, his family and the school are very cautious of.
The pressure valve of the VP shunt is on the side of his head just under the hair line. This is a very delicate area and cannot be touched or hit as if the valve becomes damaged the fluid will build up in his brain causing him to become very sick and if not acted on with immediate surgery, could result in permanent disability, or death.
Cody’s family have recently been told that Cody’s brain is experiencing seizures constantly – there is not a second of the day where Cody’s brain is not seizing. This in turn means that Cody’s brain and body are never completely at rest, making the simple task of getting out of bed in the morning an effort as he is already tired before the day begins. With this Cody is on multiple different medications and medication trials to try and help settle down the seizures. This can be very trying on Cody his family and the school as you never know what side effects these medications can have on Cody. Cody has also been recently diagnosed with an intellectual disability.
Due to the increased cranial pressure as an infant, and the location of the tumour, Cody also has low muscle tone fine and gross motor weakness making writing and walking a hard task for him. While Cody does have an aide at school he cannot be watched at all times and this is where we need your help… We ask that if you see Cody wandering around looking lost, lying down, falling over, his body shaking or anything that just does not look right please alert a teacher immediately as a fall or a seizure can be fatal to Cody.
Due to the seizures and the brain damage, at times, Cody has outbursts which can be highly emotional and even angry. These are out of his control as he is not able to manage the impulses that are sent from the brain with this we ask that you are patient and do not take offence to these as they are really not Cody and he often doesn’t understand or remember why he has acted in this manner.
Finally, due to Cody’s tired state all day every day it is becoming increasingly hard for him to function and by the end of the day he is exhausted. Again, this is where we are asking the school community for help. We would be thankful if you could please take note of the disabled parking out the front of the school and that you do not park there if you have an able-bodied child.
Cody’s parents have a disabled sticker on their car for Cody and as a safety issue to all it is needed that he be able to be picked up as close to the school gate as possible.
For the reasons listed above, we are asking that you all take a little extra care when around Cody and to keep an eye out for him. Clyde Primary is a great school community who look out for their own and this is why we feel that the needs of Cody needed to be brought to your attention.