General News

29 January, 2023

Life-saving surgery for brave youngster

JULATTEN youngster Sebastian Leonardi has spent the start of 2023 in the Queensland Children’s Hospital receiving life-saving brain surgery.

Crystal Leonardi with son Sebastian who has just undergone life-saving brain surgery.
Crystal Leonardi with son Sebastian who has just undergone life-saving brain surgery.

Five-year-old Sebastian was admitted after a routine MRI and oncology review revealed hydrocephalus, a blockage, and build-up of brain fluid.

The finding thrusted Sebastian into emergency surgery to install a VP shunt, replacing the brain’s function of transporting brain fluid in and around the brain and through the body.

“Sadly, the surgery was deemed unsuccessful, so less than 48 hours later, Sebastian faced life-saving brain surgery again,” mum Crystal said.

Sebastian is now recovering in the Queensland Children’s Hospital acute care ward, awaiting the all-clear to continue recovery at home in Julatten.

Sebastian was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2020 and has continued to battle the disease with chemotherapy for two of the past three years.

Sebastian’s family has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to childhood brain cancer.

Since his diagnosis in 2020, Crystal has published two books to help other families faced with similar circumstances.

Best-selling novel, Boy of Steel and My Brother Sebastian have been pivotal in educating families about brain cancer and supporting children diagnosed with cancer.

With the school year upon us, Sebastian’s mum hopes he can start Prep with his friends in Julatten.

“It has been such a long road to get him to this point, and we hope he will be well enough to start school soon and enjoy learning and socialising, like all five-year-old’s should.”

Crystal has been recognised by the Children’s Hospital Foundation as a community supporter and received accolades, including Author of the Year (Bronze) in the 2022 Ausmumpreneur awards.

To follow Sebastian’s story or purchase Crystal’s books, go to her website 


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