Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

Gavin Pierson in the hospital at age 5 on Easter Day 2012, the day after he received his diagnosis and underwent emergency brain surgery to place a drain in his ventricles. (Courtesy Nicole Pierson)
Gavin Pierson in the hospital at age 5 on Easter Day 2012, the day after he received his diagnosis and underwent emergency brain surgery to place a drain in his ventricles. (Courtesy Nicole Pierson)

- Ten-year-old Gavin Pierson competes at state-level karate championships, but getting good at the sport required more practice than that of the ordinary athlete. About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside the Ramsey, Minnesota, youth’s brain. When five craniotomies failed to permanently remove the mass, surgeons didn’t know if he would live— much less go on to perform a highly technical sport that requires physical strength and coordination.

But after undergoing multiple rounds of laser ablation therapy, an emerging surgical technique for removing pediatric brain tumors that he finished in early June, Gavin is like a regular kid again. He has achieved a purple belt in the martial art, is riding his bike for the first time in years, and, after re-learning to read, has returned to grade level.

“This is the first time in four years that we’re in remission,” Nicole Pierson, Gavin’s mother, told FoxNews.com. “The laser changed Gavin’s life.”

Read more at FOXNews.com.

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