Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Meet Braden

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At 6 feet 5 inches, his family says God made sixteen-year-old Braden Parsons for basketball. He was also a perfect candidate for a procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV).

The rising junior at Columbia Academy in Columbia, Tenn., was at basketball camp in June 2012 when a fierce play resulted in a concussion. Scans at Maury Regional Medical Center revealed hydrocephalus, not related to the concussion. Braden hadn’t shown any of the typical signs of hydrocephalus and was referred to Children’s Hospital for more evaluation.

“I had never heard of hydrocephalus. I couldn’t get cell service in the hospital so I ran to my van outside to Google it,” said Braden’s mom, Christie Parsons.

“We went to see Dr. (Noel) Tulipan and he said there was this great new doctor coming and we wanted him to do the surgery.”

Tulipan, professor of Neurological Surgery, explained the ETV procedure and Christie Parsons’s Googling continued.

“My husband and I actually watched a video of the surgery on YouTube and I was scared to death. I don’t like any medical stuff but I wanted to see exactly what my child has to go through,” she said.

“In the end, after talking with Dr. Wellons, we were super comfortable. Our first question to Dr. Wellons was if Braden could play basketball.”

“I really try to get kids back to being kids, playing appropriate sports, and having a healthy a lifestyle as possible. It was clear to me that being active was important to Braden, so we talked about it up front in addition to the surgery and what to expect,” Wellons said.

“We have a fantastic team and our Nurse Practitioner, Haley Vance, really goes the extra mile to make families and children feel comfortable with the whole process.”

Braden had ETV surgery on a Thursday in October, only took a few Tylenol afterward, and was back to school on Monday showing off his scar.

“I wanted to take two weeks off just to be off school but I felt back to normal and wanted to see everyone. I also didn’t want to deal with the make-up work,” Braden said. “I felt 100 percent like it never happened.”

Braden was sidelined from basketball until January and Wellons says he should shy away from football, but at his height, he isn’t too worried about taking elbows on the court.

Dedicated to his youth group at West 7th Church of Christ, Braden spent his spring break in Mexico serving at an orphanage and plans to go Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., to become a youth minister.

“This was an unexpected event in our life but it went very, very, very smoothly,” Christie Parsons said. “It was a speed bump where it could have been a major life changing event.”

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