Last week we brought you the story about baby Finnegan, the first patient in the US to receive this novel brain surgery at 1-year-old. This week we are posting a follow up from Daily Mail UK about how baby Finnegan has been Seizure free since the surgery! Wonderful news.
Below is the full article that appeared yesterday at The Daily Mail. Any references to epilepsy seizures as fits, spells and episodes have been made by the Daily Mail and not EpilepsyU.com.
During his first year, Finnegan Born-Crow suffered 50 to 100 seizures a day. That was until he received a revolutionary new surgery and he hasn’t had one since.
The first time Nicole Born-Crow noticed her baby son having a seizure, the family was on a vacation to New York.
‘It was terrifying. We had no idea what it was,’ Mrs Born-Crow told FoxNews.com. ‘I had an idea of what epilepsy is. You think of violent shaking but not staring blankly into space. And he’d do that for a massive amount of time. He also got really shallow breath, and his eyes would start to tick to one side of his head.’
As soon as she and her husband Kevin were back in their home of Cleveland, Ohio, they took Finnegan to see a neurologist who seemed to solve the problem.
Finnegan was put on anti-seizure medication which stopped the episodes that were starting to happen three to five times a day.
But that was only a temporary a solution. Mrs Born-Crow says that the medication worked great at first, but then it would stop working and they’d have to increase the dosage or switch to something new.
Then the bad news came. Finnegan’s epilepsy was deemed ‘intractable’ which meant that possibly no medication could reign in the seizures that had now escalated from 50 to 100 times a day.
That’s when neurologist Dr Jonathan Miller recommended surgery.
Mrs Born-Crow did not like the idea of her 1-year-old son having major surgery, but she eventually agreed after Dr Miller told her about the new surgery he planned for Finnegan.
Usually, when neurologists perform surgery on children to correct epilepsy, they remove half of the brain. But taking out that much of the brain impacts cognition.
Dr Miller proposed a new surgery to spare most of Finnegan’s brain and just take out enough to stop the electrical misfiring that causes seizures.
‘We’re able to leave the diseased brain in place, but allow it to be separate from the healthy brain,’ Dr Miller said. ‘Not only do you stop the seizures, but you’re also allowing the normal parts of the brain to develop normally and develop normal functions.’
With this type of surgery, most of the brain stays and, if performed at a young enough age, the child’s brain is able to adapt and build new neural pathways that work hard to make-up for the missing brain.
The surgery last 10 hours, and Finnegan emerged in great condition.
‘He was amazing from the moment he woke up,’ Mrs Born-Crow said. ‘I was terrified they’d disconnect something that’d change him from the baby that we had come to know. But he was totally normal; nothing was different except for the fact that he didn’t have seizures anymore.’
Dr Miller hopes that more parents will agree to the procedure he performed on Finnegan, so that epilepsy can be tamed before adulthood.
Change for the better: Mrs Born-Crow says nothing changed in her son after the surgery. He was the same boy as before, minus the seizures
‘There’s a large number of people in this country who suffer from epilepsy that may be curable, and people are afraid to undergo surgical procedures that could potentially have risk. Hopefully by making surgery less invasive, we make it a little more appealing and less dangerous so that we have better long term outcomes,’ he said.
Mrs Born-Crow says she hopes other parents with
epileptic kids [with epilepsy] will ‘run towards surgery like this’.
‘If you think your child is a good candidate, it’s great because there are so many children who aren’t’ she said.
Read more / Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449242/Toddler-single-epileptic-episode-receive-revolutionary-brain-surgery-year-ago.html