OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A Kansas infant who survived a brain aneurysm thanks to a daring medical procedure is now about to start pre-K.
This week marks five years since doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital used super glue to stop the blood that was seeping into the Ashlyn Julian’s brain.
The story of the “super glue baby” made international headlines in 2013, and her mother, Gina Julian, spoke with people in several countries who were following updates on her daughter’s condition. When asked if she’d ever heard of the “super glue baby,” Ashlyn told WDAF she hadn’t.
The first sign of trouble for Ashlyn was a seizure when she was about 3 weeks old. Doctors later determined she’d had a stroke and there was bleeding on the brain.
“You go from a regular room to intensive care and … round-the-clock people staring at her and freaking out about stuff,” Julian said, recalling the growing anxiety. “Then you get a different doctor who says if she ruptures again it could be fatal.”
Extremely rare in infants, Dr. Koji Ebersole had to figure out how to stop the bleeding in tiny capillaries too small for his tools.
“Her odds of survival just weren’t there,” Julian said.
His solution? A dab of super glue sent through a tiny catheter into the far recesses of her brain. The procedure was hailed as a medical miracle, but Ashlyn would spend 28 days in intensive care at extreme risk of another setback.
Her mother also had questions about the innovative procedure.
“What happens to this glob of super glue in your head? Does it dissolve? Does it stay there? Does she permanently have crazy glue on her brain?” she wondered.
Julian would get her answer two years later as scans on Ashlyn showed the glue had fully dissolved. Now Ashlyn is pretty much like any other little girl about to start pre-K.
“She loves to swing and climb and jump,” Julian said.
Ashlyn has had some physical complications from that stroke, including one leg that’s smaller. But her mom is happy she seems to meeting all cognitive benchmarks.