Many Lower Mainland hockey families know of North Vancouver’s Dane Issigonis and the trials this young hockey player has endured and triumphed over. Early on Boxing Day 2010 Dane suffered a very serious stroke and was rushed to hospital in critical condition. Within minutes of arrival Dane was undergoing emergency brain surgery. He had suffered an aneurysm as a result of a condition called arterio venous malformation (AVM). After several weeks of excellent care and overwhelming support from friends and many in the BC hockey community, Dane made a remarkable recovery and returned to many of his favorite activities, including inline hockey.
This weekend we learned that the doctors have found another AVM and have scheduled another surgery, for Tuesday, June 25. The family has asked us to send this update out to all Dane’s friends and well wishers. Please pray for Dane’s swift recovery – Dane is a fighter and is determined to get back in the saddle as soon as he can.
Here is a detailed update on the situation from Dane’s mom and dad, Karen and Troy Issigonis.
Sunday, June 23
“We have an update on Dane’s situation that we want to share with you.
We are happy to provide you all with this update regarding our “little guy”. He isn’t so little anymore, he is 14 now and just finished grade 8. So yes he is in those years, where his parents and particularly his Dad, are not quite as great, nor smart, as they used to be. Dane does well at school, he has an 83% average in his classes, though he is quick to point out that he doesn’t take french, but he doesn’t take PE either and that used to be an easy A. He was awarded for his work in Acting, his teacher literally raves about his work on his report cards. We are going to get Dane registered for some lessons latter this summer and next fall. When we talked about lessons this last year, Dane would be quick to point out just how busy he is. He really is still quite busy, it is just doing different things, now, as opposed to living at the rink.
Dane has a tutor twice a week, and has physio and physical therapies two or three times a week. Between the therapies and tutors, he doesn’t get a loot of days to just come home after school, and kick back and relax. Fatigue is one of the biggest issue Dane has to deal with as a result of the stroke, and it is something we try to help him with as much as possible. We still remember how he didn’t really start to recover from the stroke until he slept through the night and how with each good night sleep we would see so much improvement the next day. We generally don’t wake him up once he is sleeping and just put off whatever we thought we were going to do that morning, until he wakes up. We do wake him for school, but not if he was up even a little late.
Dane and I didn’t do as much broadcasting as we wanted last year, but we are hoping to be more regular with it next year, more of his closer friends will be on the Bantam team and we are hoping to broadcast most of the home games during their Bantam Draft year.
Dane has been playing inline roller hockey these last two years and to say he loves it would be an understatement. Dane struggles with his balance, strength and just general agility and we all feel his frustration at times, when he can’t do some of the things that came so naturally, but then he will catch a pass, with a little bit of time, take a look, make a great pass and all the frustrations are forgotten. Doug Sissons and Dane have always been buddies and now Doug is the coach of Dane’s inline teams and that makes it a little more special. We checked the league stats at the end of he season. Dane scores about a point per game and he is pretty happy with that.
Dane has been going for many follow up tests these last 2.5 years since his stroke and his latest one brought some bad news. Follow up cerebral angiograms hadn’t shown anything out of the ordinary until now. About a month ago his angio showed another AVM (arterio venous malformation) in the same area as his first one. It is likely that it is just now at a size where it could be detected. it has been described to us as very small and difficult to see.
After Dane’s original surgery, the surgeon said that he thought there was another suspect vessel there, it was small and he wasn’t sure, but it wasn’t something to deal with at that time.
Subsequent MRI scans have shown clear images of the position of the AVM and Dane has been scheduled for surgery next Tuesday June 25th at BCCH to have it removed. It has been a bit of a flurry of testing and scans and we won’t have a chance to meet with the neurosurgeon to discuss the operation in a lot of detail until Monday. We are nervous, but staying as positive as ever. Thinking back on his last surgery and knowing that this one will be a controlled situation and fairly straight forward is comforting. It is hard to believe that we can think of such a surgery as straight forward, but compared to the last this should be a breeze. We have heard of other children in the same situation that recover really quickly and have no set backs at all (some with not even a headache post op. Sounds crazy I know)
We won’t need any help this time, but there is no doubt that all your positive thoughts and prayers sure helped last time, so all we ask is that you do whatever it was you did before and everything will turn out fine! “
Troy and Karen Issigonis, North Vancouver.