Episode 3: 'Mend My Brain'

As the largest paediatric centre in the UK for brain surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) provides the last chance for many children with complex neurological conditions. The third episode of the BBC documentary series Great Ormond Street looks at the difficult decision-making and intricate surgical procedures facing patients with a variety of these complex conditions. 

Read more about the patients and clinicians featured in the 'Mend My Brain' episode below, and find out how you can help.

The patients


Trinity seemed to be leading a typical seven-year-old's life when all of a sudden she started to experience severe headaches and developed a sensitivity to light. Following a visit to her GP, Trinity and her family are told that she has a brain tumour and will need to be referred to GOSH for complex surgery.

Trinity’s parents have to decide on the follow-up treatment too, which could involve either chemotherapy at GOSH or travelling to the US for proton beam radiotherapy.

Read Trinity's story


Toddler Cody has severely malformed blood vessels deep inside his brain and, left untreated, the condition known as Vein of Galen malformation could cause serious problems.

Cody's surgery is in the hands of GOSH clinician Adam Rennie, who is one of only three doctors in the UK who can perform the procedure. 

Read Cody's story 


16-year-old Jack had a stroke at birth and suffers from severe epilepsy. He has come to GOSH, the largest childhood epilepsy surgery centre in the UK, to consider a hemispherotomy

Jack and his mum have to weigh up the risks of surgery but is mindful of how the side effects could impact on his favourite hobby – karate.

Read Jack's story


During this episode we also met Ella-May. Ella-May was also born with Vein of Galen malformation, where an abnormal connection between vessels in the brain causes problems with blood flow. She was admitted to GOSH as soon as she was born, but sadly there were complications after her treatment and she passed away. 

Read Ella-May's story

The clinicians 

Adam Rennie 

Dr Adam Rennie is a Consultant Interventional Neuroradiologist at both GOSH and the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Dr Rennie is one of only three doctors in the UK able to treat children with Vein of Galen malformations. 

Read Adam's biography

Owase Jeelani

Mr Owase Jeelani is a Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon and has worked at GOSH for 15 years. 

Mr Jeelani was the lead neurosurgeon for the successful separation of the Sudanese conjoined twins Rital and Ritag.

In 2011, The Times listed him as one of the top British Surgeons. 

Read Owase's biography

Cheryl Hemingway

Cheryl has been a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist for 15 years and has been a full-time Neurology Consultant at GOSH since 2005.

Her PhD from Imperial College London explored patient responses to brain inflammation and infection and she has used this expertise to provide specialised clinical care to children with many different types of neurological problems.

Read Cheryl's biography

Martin Tisdall 

Martin has been at GOSH since 2013 and specialises in paediatric epilepsy surgery and traumatic brain injuries. 

He has completed fellowships in paediatric neurosurgery at GOSH and Sick Kids, Toronto, and in neurocritical care at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. 

Read Martin's biography