San Antonio boy undergoes emergency brain procedure after suffering hemorrhage at school

Nikko Medina treated at University Hospital after suffering from condition called brain arteriovenous malformation

SAN ANTONIO – A 7-year-old San Antonio boy is recovering after suffering a hemorrhage at school and undergoing a life-saving procedure on his brain.

Nikko Medina underwent the procedure in October after not feeling well one day in class.

“I felt a migraine in my head. I felt pretty scared,” Nikko said.

That was one of the last things Nikko said he remembered after he started bleeding from his brain.

“I was trying to get my milk, but then I bumped my head,” he said.

After that bump on his head, Nikko started vomiting and not acting like himself. School nurses immediately called EMS and his parents as Nikko lost control of one side of his body. They rushed him to the hospital.

“When we left, he started deteriorating. He was not responding on his left side and just kept falling over, he had no control of his body,” said Ruben Medina, Nikko’s father. “We drove to Southwest General Hospital. They evaluated him and told us that they were going to intubate him and put him on a helicopter.”

Medina was airlifted to University Hospital for further treatment and a life-saving procedure.

“My mind was everywhere. I didn’t know how to take the pain away from him,” said Yvette Montez, Nikko’s mother.

University Hospital and UT Health San Antonio doctors worked together and determined Nikko was suffering from a condition called brain arteriovenous malformation or AVM. The condition occurs when blood vessels that connects arteries and veins in the brain become tangled.

“When he came to us, he was really sick, he had a tube to protect his airway. We admitted him to the ICU and got him stabilized. This was the first step,” said Dr. Fadi Al-Saiegh, UT Health San Antonio, University Hospital neurosurgeon.

“From when he went down in school to when he got to us was within two hours. We started looking at him and evaluating him and within the next 15 minutes, he had a procedure done by our team,” said Dr. Izabela Tarasiewicz, UT Health San Antonio, University Hospital pediatric neurosurgeon. “Once his brain was a little more rested, he had his procedure resection.”

Medina was transported to University Hospital on Oct. 12, stabilized and then had a procedure on his brain eight days later. He was released on Oct. 26 and was back in school by the end of the month.

“He came out of surgery, I was just so happy, grateful, I cried. I felt every emotion,” Montez said. “I’m just really amazed with just everything he’s accomplished.”

“It’s an amazing story. He had a catastrophic hemorrhage, recovered, had a surgery and is completely cured,” Tarasiewicz said. “We saw him at his worst, now to see him at his best is really inspiring.”

Nikko is back to living the life of a normal 7-year-old boy and won a school spelling bee while recovering from the procedure.

“Seeing him recover in this great way and even winning the spelling bee, this was very rewarding,” Al-Saiegh said.

“There’s no stopping him. He’s back to being a regular boy,” Medina said.

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RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

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