Bixby student undergoes brain procedure, part of medical breakthrough

BIXBY, Okla. — A Bixby middle schooler is part of a medical breakthrough after undergoing a minimally invasive brain procedure. It’s the first time a child has had this type of treatment.

Crews Hobby just finished the 6th grade. He loves all sports, including basketball.

He also loves riding four wheelers. In November, he crashed his ATV, bruising his heart and lung, fracturing his rib and causing a small brain bleed that doctors said would heal on its own.

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“I lost control of my steering and rolled into a ditch, and I think I rolled and hit a tree,” said Crews.

Days after getting home from Arkansas Children’s Hospital, he started having what his family called “silent seizures.”

“I just remember being transferred all across the whole hospital,” said Crews.

His family says it was a scary ordeal.

“He was having absent seizures, kind of absent seizures, he would just go blank, he was doing that and not really responding,” said his grandmother.

He was put on seizure medication bu the next week things got worse. The brain bleed had gotten bigger. He was rushed to OU Health. Doctor Hakeem Shakir became the primary doctor on Crews’ case.

“The unique portion of this case really, is what we did to treat it,” said Dr. Shakir.

Dr. Shakir put a specially made stent across the aneurysm to keep blood flowing through the vessel in his brain rather than going to the aneurysm. The procedure didn’t require an intense brain surgery. Instead, they chose a minimally invasive route for the first time on a child—making Oklahoma medical history.

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“We went in through his radial artery, so his wrist, through a small puncture site. I was able to crawl through a small catheter or hollow tube and get to the aneurysm and deploy a special kind of stent,” said Dr. Shakir.

The procedure made the recovery time for crews significantly lower. From months, to just days and hours. Dr. Shakir and his staff were amazed at the follow up.

“No incision, no scar on his head or skull, none of those things that would have been done years and years ago. 15, 20 years ago, what I did would not be on the table, wouldn’t be something considered probably,” said Dr. Shakir.

Crews is hoping to overcome one more hurdle and that’s to play football. While Dr. Shakir hasn’t completely taken it off the table, there’s still a lot of progress to happen before he’s able to play any contact sport. Everyone’s so thrilled about his recovery and excited at how far medical advancements have come. He will have another visit where Dr. Shakir will go back in—to check the blood flow in the vessels his brain