Doctors Remove Half of Infant's Brain to Relieve Seizures

A baby boy, suffering from a rare brain disorder that left him having up to 200 seizures a day, is recovering after doctors removed part of his brain, WOWT-TV in Omaha, Neb., reported.

When little Aaron McDonald and his twin brother, Conor, were born in March — their parents couldn’t have been happier. But that joy soon turned into fear when doctors discovered Aaron had Ohtahara syndrome, which is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures.

It affects newborns, usually within the first three months of life in the form of epileptic seizures, the National Institutes of Health said on its Web site.

"You go from being so excited that you have two sons born, and then you go to that drop-off-a-cliff feeling of horrible sadness when you find out what's wrong," Aaron’s dad, Dan McDonald, said.

Because the seizures were so severe, doctors were left with no other choice but to operate. On May 17th, Aaron underwent a 12-hour surgery at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

"Now they don't take out the entire brain, but they do remove part of it, and they disconnect the other parts,” McDonald said. “And then if the right side is not specialized yet, it's able to partially or fully pick up functions."

McDonald said Aaron has not had any seizures since the surgery, and is already grasping things with his right hand, which means the right side of his brain has taken over for the part that was removed.

“Yeah it's a miracle, it is," McDonald said.

Click here to read more from WOWT-TV.