Meet Malu

Malu is the face of the 90th Good Friday Appeal! The gorgeous two year old is up and running again after he had surgery to disconnect one half of his brain to minimise the impact of debilitating seizures. You can make a difference for patients like him by supporting this year’s Good Friday Appeal. Donate now.

Chasing after his brothers with a beaming smile on his face, two year old Malu Hunt is bursting with energy as he wanders around his backyard.

Looking at him now, you’d never know that he’s adapting to his new life with half a functioning brain.

At 12 months of age Malu was diagnosed with infantile spasms – a rare type of epilepsy in children.

Referred to the Neurology department at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Malu’s care team discovered that the right side of his brain was not developing properly.

Finding little success through various medications, options to minimise the impact this condition was having on his developing brain were running out, so the RCH Neurology team offered one final solution – a hemispherotomy.

An extremely complex surgery, a hemispherotomy includes completely disconnecting one half of the brain, while leaving it inside the head.

The only paediatric hospital in Victoria to take on this specific surgery, the RCH performs less than six hemispherotomies per year.

After months of medications, tests and anxiously seeking a cure for his seizures, Malu’s parents, Morgan and Erin, were faced with the difficult decision – whether or not to have their one-year-old undergo invasive brain surgery.

Considering all possible outcomes, they came to the decision that a hemispherotomy would give their toddler the best chance of a normal life, without the debilitating seizures that were impacting his development.

On the day of his surgery, Erin and Morgan handed Malu over to the RCH Neurosurgery team.

While the neurosurgeons worked tirelessly for 12-hours, creating incisions to disconnect the right hemisphere in Malu’s brain, his family waited for what felt like the longest day of their lives.

Just after 9.00pm, Erin and Morgan received the news that Malu’s surgery had gone well and the troublesome side of his brain had been successfully disconnected.

Malu spent the next four weeks at the RCH, working with the hospital’s rehabilitation team.

Expected to make slow, steady progress, Malu exceeded his doctors’ expectations and began walking again less than one month after surgery.

With the right side of the brain controlling the left side of the body, Malu had partial paralysis on his left side but is gaining strength and confidence and is hitting developmental milestones.

Thanks to the incredible care at the RCH, Malu has been seizure-free since his surgery in July 2020. While his condition will be managed regularly over his life, he will continue to visit the RCH until he graduates to adult care.

Thanks to your generous support, we can make a difference to children like Malu and support world-leading care at the RCH. Give for the kids today