Sunday, April 15, 2007

Surgery could give a seizure free life to toddler

The 16-month-old from Brisbane came to the Royal Children's Hospital so doctors could put a stop to the seizures she was suffering every day.
In a nine-hour operation, neurosurgeons removed tiny sections of Chelsea's brain that were causing the seizures.
To look at her now, the courageous tot is a picture of cherubic good health.

"It's as if a fog has lifted," Mr Shields said. "The results have been unbelievable."

Chelsea has not suffered a single seizure since the operation two weeks ago and, best of all, the brave little girl is ready to go home.

"We're so happy and relieved, and we feel that Chelsea's future is looking a lot brighter," Ms Shields said.

Last year, Chelsea was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy called tuberous sclerosis.
The condition is so rare that it affects just one in 6000 people.

Queensland neurologists told Chelsea's parents that brain surgery could cure the rare defect, but it carried some risk. The tubers in Chelsea's brain that needed to be removed were located next to crucial parts of the brain controlling her speech and motor skills.

One slip of the scalpel and Chelsea could have been brain-damaged for life.

"We keep saying to each other: 'Is this real?'," Mr Shields said.


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