Teen travels from Greece to Ann Arbor for vascular surgery at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

After missing nearly a year of school in Crete for severe stomach pain, 14-year-old girl with complex, rare vascular disease finds treatment at Mott

After a year of living in pain, high schooler Niki Karpouza is back to herself and enjoying her summer in her home country Greece.

After a year of living in pain, high schooler Niki Karpouza is back to herself and enjoying her summer in her home country Greece.

The stomach pain 14-year-old Niki Karpouza was experiencing was so excruciating, she couldn’t eat, had to give up gymnastics and ultimately missed 350 days of school in her hometown on the island of Crete, Greece.

The culprit: a rare vascular condition that had led to the narrowing of multiple intestinal arteries and their branches, preventing blood from flowing to her intestines like it was supposed to.

Several doctor visits and medications in Greece didn’t help. Doctors there reached out to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital that has one of the leading multidisciplinary programs for comprehensive treatment of vascular disease. The program is an international referral center for children with complex vascular disease and handles approximately 80 percent of cases requiring surgery in the U.S.

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