5-year-old suffering from 50 seizures a day saved by amazing new innovation
When seemingly healthy Ella Hall was 4 years old, she began getting constant, painful seizures. The girl suffered up to 50 seizures every day. Now, thanks to a newly developed laser surgery that had never before been done at Ella's local hospital, the 5-year-old is back to her old self.
In 2014, Kyle and Chrissy Hall, Ella's parents, were giving their young daughter a bath. Suddenly, Ella began acting strangely. Chrissy said:
Kyle agreed that something wasn't quite right with his daughter. He tried to get her attention but she didn't seem present. Kyle said:
After about 15 seconds, Ella snapped out of the bizarre state and seemed to act normal again. Her parents kept a close eye on her and sent her to school the next morning because she seemed "perfectly fine." That day, they got a call from Ella's daycare saying that she had had a seizure while getting ready to eat lunch.
Chrissy accompanied Ella as she was rushed by ambulance to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. On the way to the hospital, she suffered three more seizures. After that, the seizures continued full-force. Ella was having up to 40 to 50 seizures every day. Chrissy said:
After the drugs used to treat epilepsy didn't work for Ella, Children's neurologist Dr. Daniel Tarquinio and his team tracked the electrical activity in Ella's brain. They found a tiny oblong area dangerously close to Ella's motor cortex. They realized that in order to stop the seizures, Ella would need brain surgery. Chrissy explained that she and Kyle were desperate to help their child at that point. She said:
After the first brain surgery, Ella went 20 hours straight without having any seizures. Then, the seizures started up again. Ella underwent another brain surgery after that, and again the seizures came back. Ella's parents were heartbroken.
Finally, the doctors performed a minimally invasive laser surgery that had never been done at the hospital before. The surgery is known as an MRI-guided thermal ablation. The team used the MRI machine's giant magnet to guide them as they drilled a small hole in Ella's skull. They inserted a catheter down the abnormal area and used the laser to burn away the remaining abnormal tissue.
It's been almost four months since that surgery, and Ella has not had a single seizure since. Chrissy said, "I mean, we've got our child back." The Halls are thrilled to have their lively little girl back in good health. Kyle said:
Watch this video to learn more about laser brain surgery innovation:
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