The past 18 months have been tough for 12-year-old Isaac Giblin, who was recently awarded a Child of Courage Award from the Lion Club of Adelaide.
Isaac underwent an 11-hour surgery in 2018 to remove tangled blood vessels on his brain, known as arteriovenous malformation.
"Technically I'm still recovering...but I'm still living life," said Isaac, who has also recently been diagnosed Epilepsy as a result of surgery.
Isaac's family were invited to government house to receive the award from SA Governor Hieu Van Le, but when they couldn't make it, a special assembly was organised at Isaac's school to surprise him last year.
Mum Sally Giblin said they let Isaac know the morning of the assembly he was getting an award, but didn't let on what it was.
"At school we have an assembly once a week and I walked in and saw my family, I saw everyone and thought 'this is a lot more than just an award'," said Isaac.
...I walked in and saw my family, I saw everyone and thought 'this is a lot more than just an award'.Isaac Giblin
"Technically I didn't really know what a bravery award was but I just went with the flow."
He said he found out after what a big honour it was to receive his medal.
Mrs Giblin said Isaac was very resilient even when it was a struggle to go back to school, and there were many things to overcome including his alopecia from medication.
The St Joseph's student said he was initially worried what others thought of him but he was now looking forward to starting middle school because he gets a laptop and would get to do science experiments.
"Before I couldn't really fit in but now I've got really good friends," he said.
"I'm not missing out on anything really."