Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) tears up when American Idol hopeful, Paris Tassin, sings Carrie Underwood’s hit song “Temporary Home”. Paris dedicates the song to her beautiful daughter who was born with hydrocephalus and talks about how she is the best thing that’s happened to her.
“When you sang, I really felt it … I knew [the song] meant something to you.” Jennifer Lopez
Paris found out about her daughter’s condition while she was still pregnant. While she was given dire predictions, Paris remained determined to go through the pregnancy. Hydrocephalus is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles and could be diagnosed in utero when the technician may detect enlarged ventricles during a routine ultrasound.
Hydrocephalus can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired at any stage of life. Congenital hydrocephalus is thought to be caused by a complex interaction of environmental and perhaps genetic factors. Two examples of congenital hydrocephalus are aqueductal stenosis and spina bifida. Acquired hydrocephalus can be idiopathic (no known cause) or may result from intraventricular hemorrhage, meningitis, head trauma, tumors, or cysts.
Hydrocephalus is treated surgically by the insertion of a shunt. A shunt is a flexible tube that diverts the flow of CSF from the head into another region of the body where it can be absorbed. Shunts commonly include valves to regulate CSF flow based on pressure and/or body position.
Endoscopic third Ventriculostomy (ETV) is an alternate operation to treat hydrocephalus. The surgery entails making a tiny hole in the floor of the third ventricle to allow free flow of CSF.
Hydrocephalus is believed to:
- Occur in about 2 of every 1,000 live births
- Impact hundreds of thousands of adults. An estimated 350,000 older Americans are living with normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)
- Affect more than 1 million Americans
- Be the most common reason for brain surgery in children
Although it is treatable:
- There is no cure for this chronic condition
- The only known treatment is neurosurgical
- More than 30,000 shunt surgeries are performed annually in the U.S.! That’s more than one every 30 minutes
With more than 20 million viewers, American Idol is a great place for “hydrocephalus” to gain awareness. We recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity to spread the word and share this video with friends, family, co-workers and your congressman. Support Paris by going to her fan page on Facebook. Post a comment or tell your hydrocephalus story on this message about hydrocephalus left on the American Idol community site.
“I [sing] for my daughter, because I want to teach her: Go for your dreams, do everything you want to do in your life and be happy” Paris Tassin