A toddler from Vancouver, who suffered up to 50 seizures a day, had surgery to remove half of her brain an effort to fight a rare genetic disorder, The Columbian newspaper reported.
Two-year-old Katie Verdecchia was born with Aicardi syndrome, which meant the structure that connects the two sides of her brain was completely missing.
Symptoms of the disorder usually start when a child is 3 to 5 months old, the National Institutes of Health said on its website. In Katie’s case, her symptoms were so bad when she was 12-months old, she was experiencing dozens of seizures a day.
Due to the severity of her condition, Katie’s parents decided to opt for the drastic surgery to remove half of her brain. It’s a procedure that is performed less than 200 times a year, according to the report.
Katie underwent the surgery in November at Mattel Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, and hasn’t experienced any seizures since.
“You do what you have to do for your child — it’s hard making that decision to have surgery,” Maryalicia Verdecchia told NBC’s The Today Show. “But for us, there really wasn’t any choice.”
Doctors will continue to monitor Katie to see how much function she will have with just half a brain. For now, she smiles, gives high-fives and kisses.