An Atlanta 5-year-old who was suffering up to 50 seizures a day has found relief, her parents say, after doctors performed three brain surgeries to target the problem area.
Chrissy and Kyle Hall told My Fox Atlanta that their daughter Ella had been healthy up until Dec. 28, 2014, when she began shaking and her eyes became fixated while they were giving her a bath.
“It didn’t look normal,” Kyle, Ella’s father, told MyFoxAtlanta.com. “I was like ‘Ella, what’s going on? Ella! Ella!’ And she never responded back to me for about 10 to 15 seconds.”
Ella had her next seizure at daycare while she was getting ready for lunch. Chrissy rushed to her daughter and took her to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as Ella’s seizures continued.
“I remember just going home and laying on the floor and just crying,” Chrissy told the news station, “because I knew our lives were never going to be the same.”
For three weeks, doctors tried various medications typically used to treat pediatric epilepsy patients, but nothing worked.
Dr. Daniel Tarquinio, a pediatric neurologist at Children’s, began tracking the electrical activity in Ella’s brain. He found a marble-sized, oblong area tucked close to her motor cortex, MyFoxAtlanta.com reported. Tarquinio told the Hall’s that their only option was surgery.
“This had been going on for three weeks. Medication was not working. We said, ‘Please, do it,’” Chrissy told MyFoxAtlanta.com.
After the first surgery Ella was seizure free for about 20 hours before they returned. She underwent a second surgery, but again the seizures returned. Tarquinio decided to use a revolutionary approach that had never been performed at Children’s before for their third try. He used a minimally invasive laser surgery called MRI-guided thermal ablation. A hole was drilled into Ella’s skull, and then a catheter was inserted down to the problem area. Tarquino then used a laser to burn away the abnormal tissue.
In the four months since the surgery, Ella hasn’t had a single seizure, MyFoxAtlanta.com reported.
“It’s amazing to see her today, to see her running around being herself,” Kyle told the news station. “It’s amazing,”