Morgan had her first seizure at age 10 while playing soccer. Her symptoms were similar to those of a concussion, but she had not been hit by a ball. Ultimately, she began to have several seizures of 10-25 second duration several times a day. The seizures began to impact her social life and her ability to attend school.
Life before Surgery
With the unpredictability of seizures, Morgan and her family began to experience how epilepsy can “turn lives upside down.” Medication management alone was not controlling the seizures. MRI findings suggested 2 structural changes that could be triggering epilepsy and that the temporal lobe was affected.
Even with 3 medications, Morgan was continuing to have several seizures. Morgan’s parents searched several options and decided to pursue the possibility of surgery at Johns Hopkins. She proved to be a candidate for laser ablation surgery. Within 2 weeks after her surgery, Morgan was able to begin phasing back into attending school.
Getting the best care
Asking questions, doing research, being an advocate for your child with epilepsy is critical to getting them the best care.
After the surgery
Morgan has slowly come off medications and is seizure-free at 1 year after surgery. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” say Morgan’s parents. Her quality of life has improved, and she’ll be starting high school next year. Her surgeon, Dr. Dody Robinson, describes why surgery was a good fit for Morgan and how to determine when and whether to consider surgical options.
Morgan is now playing sports again and focusing on normal teen concerns. Her family has learned to “not sweat the small stuff,” and found that the journey has made them stronger. Dr. Christa Habella emphasizes that there are always ways for epilepsy patients to work toward improvements.
Cost And Coping