Falkirk High pupil reaches the top after brain surgery

Louis Sandground, right, and dad Christopher at the summit of Mont Ventoux in France
Louis Sandground, right, and dad Christopher at the summit of Mont Ventoux in France

A brave teenager who underwent lifesaving brain surgery just a year-and-half ago is now back to full fitness.

Louis Sandground (14) cycled to the top of the infamous 1911 metre-high Mont Ventox – one of the most gruelling Tour de France hill climbs – while on holiday earlier in the year.

The mammoth achievement showed the Falkirk High School S4 pupil had totally recovered from the six-hour operation on his brain at Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in 2013 when surgeons destroyed an arachnoid cyst the size of a tomato.

Louis said: “I never really knew I had it until it ruptured and made me really ill.”

Arachnoid cysts are made up of cerebrospinal fluid covered by arachnoidal cells and develop between the surface of the brain and the cranial base. Patients with arachnoid cysts may never show symptoms.

“It’s quite rare for them to rupture,” said Louis. “Quite a lot of people have them and don’t know it, but when it ruptured they had to operate straight away. My recovery basically the whole summer of 2013 and then when I went back to school it was only part-time at first.”

Louis is now living the life of a normal active teenager again – although rugby is out and the once promising footballer is banned from heading the ball when he has a kick about with mates.

Cycling now takes up his time and energy he has joined the West Lothian Clarion cycling club.

Proud dad Christopher (44) said: “What he went through was just unbelievable and his rehabilitation was quite something. He has worked hard to catch up at school.”

It was Christopher who had to catch up in France this summer when Louis showed his dad, mum Alana (44), sisters Matilda (17) and Florence (9) and brother Noah (4) just how well he had recovered.

“We didn’t think he would make it up that hill, but he beat everyone to the top,” said Christopher.