I would like to thank the CT Brain Tumor Alliance for their generous donation which helped purchase Cinema Vision Goggles for the MRI machine at St. Francis Hospital.

This past winter, my 5-year-old son needed an MRI due to frequent migraine headaches and a newly found eye problem. Doctors were concerned that the problems he was having may be due to a brain tumor and they ordered him to have an MRI. Because of his age, policy at the children's hospital is for him to be put under general anesthesia. It is very difficult for a boy who just turned 5 years old to sit still for any length of time. Anybody who's ever had an MRI knows you have to lay completely still until it's over. So, for children, general anesthesia is usually the answer.

There are risks involved with having general anesthesia, however, I had an even bigger reason for not wanting my son to go under for the MRI. I have a disease called Malignant Hyperthermia, which is a rare, life-threatening condition that is triggered by exposure to certain drugs used for general anesthesia. When I was young, I was put under general anesthesia and almost lost my life. My children have a 50% chance of inheriting this disease. The test for this disease is a muscle biopsy, which can give faulty results. Results are never 100%. So, instead of putting all my children through muscle biopsies, they are treated like they have the disease.

When I found out about the Cinema Vision Goggles that the CT Brain Tumor Alliance donated to St. Francis Hospital, I decided to give it a try. Having an MRI at St. Francis with the Cinema Vision Goggles meant that my son did not have to put under anesthesia. He brought his favorite DVD to watch and handed it to the technician. She prepared him for the MRI, put "Harry Potter" on, put the goggles on him, and my son did not even realize he was entering the MRI machine because he was already a few minutes into watching the movie! The goggles completely covered his eyes, even the sides so he couldn't see out. He lay completely still for the duration of the MRI. Amazing! No anesthesia and no moving around!

My husband and I were so thankful for this experience and are happy to say the MRI was clear. He ended up needing corrective eye surgery and is doing very well today.

Thank you so much to the CT Brain Tumor Alliance for the donation of the Cinema Vision Goggles to St. Francis Hospital.

Danielle Plona

- Submitted by Danielle Plona

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