Young Ballerina With Brain Condition Has Lifesaving Surgery At Le Bonheur

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(Memphis) Nine-year-old Madisen Sago is a little shy when she meets strangers with her mom, dad, and sisters just outside Le Bonheur Children's Hospital's movie theater.

But her parents, George and Latasha, say Madisen's joyful personality and beautiful smile really come through when she's steps onto the stage to perform ballet. She's a ballerina.

"I think Madisen is all about dance and it's been that way," Latasha Sago said.

Madisen's story begins in Jackson, Mississippi. She was born prematurely.

A few weeks later, a doctor's examination revealed another problem.

"They did a CT scan and said she was in severe danger of having brain damage because she was in full-blown hydrocephalus," Latasha Sago said.

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain and sometimes causes brain damage.

Madisen's doctors determined she needed a shunt to drain the fluid.

"We stayed and on our knees and praying that God would make a way," Sago said.

The surgery went well, but two years later Madisen started having serious headaches, and no one knew why.

"We knew it was something. Her pain level, her screaming," George Sago said.

"It was very frustrating to go to the experts and you think, hey you can solve this problem and can't and for them to say maybe she just wants attention," Latasha Sago said.

The Sagos took their daughter to several specialists in different fields, but with no conclusive results.

The family would eventually move to Southaven because of their jobs and closer to finding a solution to Madisen's health concerns.

"I think I did a Google search and went to the Hydrocephalus Association and looked for the nation's best pediatric neurosurgery and low and behold they were in Memphis," Latasha Sago said.

They say the best neurosurgeons were at Le Bonheur. Dr. Rick Boop discovered Madisen was having a shunt malfunction and repaired it and Madisen's headaches stopped.

"I see her once a year now that her shunt is working well and she's a delight to come to the clinic because it's friendly conversations and those dark days are well behind us," Boop said.

The Sago's call the work being done here miraculous.

"It was a miracle, I believe and after all we went through to get to that point," George Sago said.

They say God paved the way for them to come to Le Bonheur and save the life of their daughter, Madisen, who is a healthy and happy ballerina .

"We got here. He (God) got us here because he wants us here and this is where she (Madisen) was supposed to be all along," Latasha Sago said.

The Sagos also give back to Le Bonheur by working with Le Bonheur's Family Partners Council to help other families.