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Emily was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the day after her 4th birthday. Her parents thought that would be the last of her health worries. But a year and a half later, Emily had her first seizure, a grand mal seizure. It was the middle of the night and her dad Mike awoke to the sounds of Emily screaming. Thinking it was an episode relating to low blood sugar, her dad grabbed her glucose gun and was ready to give her a shot when her mom Sally tested her blood and discovered it wasn’t low at all. Confused but worried, they called 911. She had two more seizures when EMS arrived and a few more when they arrived at Didsbury Hospital. Staff knew she needed the experts at the Alberta Children’s Hospital so she was transferred here. Doctors suspected the seizures Emily was having were febrile seizures, but an EEG determined her convulsions were actually epileptic seizures.
Emily was put on medication but her seizures were getting progressively worse and she became miserable because of the side effects. She would have up to 20 seizures a day, with each lasting between five and 10 minutes. She could never be unsupervised because at any moment, she could drop to the ground, hitting her head. She loved jump rope, but each time she did it, she would have a seizure. This happened so often on the playground, a wound developed on her hand. Because medication wasn’t working, her only other option to control her seizures was surgery. Using donor-funded surgical equipment called ROSA (Robotic Surgical Assistant), Dr. Hader at determined the origin of her seizures and during a surgery in October, was able to remove part of her right temporal lobe. Following her surgery day, a day her family calls “Miracle Day,” Emily’s seizures reduced to one a day and she could feel them coming on and they aren’t as severe. She had some paralysis on her left side, but now she is 100% recovered! She no longer relies on heavy medications. What’s more amazing is that thanks to this life saving and life changing surgery, Emily is now more independent, can be left unsupervised and can play without having a grand mal seizure. She gets to be a kid again!
Emily’s parents are grateful for the donor-funded ROSA and expert neurosurgeons who performed a surgery to stop her severe seizures – surgery that has not only been lifesaving, but life changing too.