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Brain tattoo dad's show of support for daughter.

Byline: ALISON STACEY Staff Reporter alison.stacey@trinitymirror.com @alibaabra

A CARING dad has had a tattoo of a brain shunt on his head, to show solidarity with his young daughter who has a rare congenital condition.

Gareth Hickenbottom-Marriot has been inked for the second time, after initially getting a cochlear implant tattooed to match his daughter Briar, who has Goldenhar syndrome.

The 10-year-old from Walsall was born deaf, and Gareth decided to get the tattoo in August 2015 to support his daughter after she was fitted with the implant.

I just important knows that alone, and will help Now the 42-yearold is proudly displaying his new tattoo of a brain shunt to show his daughter Briar that "she's not alone".

Gareth Marriot Not only a gesture of fatherly love - the tattoo also helps Briar understand what her own brain shunt looks like.

"Briar didn't quite know what to make of the tattoo when I first showed her, because obviously her shunt is hidden inside her head," explained Gareth. "I just think it's important that Briar knows that she's not alone, and hopefully this will help to do that."

Briar condition affects her as she grows, and has caused issues with her eating, drinking and vision.

Briar, who is under the care of Birmingham Children's Hospital, also suffers with hydrocephalus - a build-up of fluid on the brain.

She was fitted with a brain shunt when she was just 18 months old.

The procedure involved her having a thin tube surgically implanted inside her brain to help drain away excess fluid.

While her brain shunt is not visible to other people, it has become part of her.

think it's that Briar she's not hopefully this to do that.

Mr Guirish Solanki, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I've known Briar for a number of years and her parents, Leanne and Gareth, go above and beyond in supporting their daughter - like so many of our families we care for and support.

Hickenbottom-"Although Briar's condition is complex, mum and dad are fully knowledgeable and this most recent act of solidarity just illustrates their love and care for her.

"It's not only a wonderful caring gesture but it also helps Briar to understand what her brain shunt looks like and the important role it plays in helping her."

I just think it's important that Briar knows that she's not alone, and hopefully this will help to do that. Gareth Hickenbottom-Marriot

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 4, 2017
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