Amazing! Half of 8-year-old girl's brain was turned off to stop her seizures
Sammy Folloder's story is nothing short of a miracle. Having been born a micro preemie along with her brother Noah, they were only given a 10% chance of survival.
Would you say yes to an operation shutting down half of your daughter’s brain if it meant that she would be free from constant seizures? It’s a difficult and risky choice, but for Sammy Folloder’s parents, the choice was clear.
Nothing short of a miracle
Sammy Folloder’s story is nothing short of a miracle. Having been born a micro preemie along with her brother Noah, they were only given a 10% chance of survival. They survived, but sadly both of them lost their vision.
Sammy was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is developmentally delayed. Regardless, her parents were still thankful since doctors initially told them that she would not be able to talk, walk, or even eat on her own.
The joy was short lived however, since her parents noticed that she started having seizures when she became 2. Jordan, her mother, shares “Around the age of 2, we both noticed what we believe was her first seizure, it was long and it was frightening.” said Jordan Folloder, the twins’ mother.”
Since then, the seizures have been getting in the way of her life, and have caused a delay in her development.
They wanted to turn of half of her brain
At a loss on what to do, they desperately looked for any treatment that would stop her seizures. Doctors then suggested turning off half of her brain to stop the seizures that were disrupting her life.
According to her parents, “We walked out. We left the room,” Jordan Folloder shares. However, they eventually changed their minds about it and the results have been nothing short of miraculous.
The surgery was called an hemispherectomy, which effectively shut down the part of her brain that was responsible for the irregular electrical impulses that was causing her to have seizures. One of the doctors, Daniel Curry, said, “Her left hemisphere wasn’t contributing any meaningful function to the right side of her body. So disconnecting it had very little consequence.”
Amazingly, the surgery has left Sammy seizure free. Her parents also made sure that the surgery didn’t affect any of her brain functions, and that she was still the same old Sammy that they knew and loved.
10 days after the surgery, Sammy was out of the hospital. Living life without any seizures, she started speaking clearer, learning faster, and has become much more playful.
What happened was that the other side of her brain that was functioning normally took on the responsibilities that wasn’t being done by the other side of her brain, the one that was taken out. Her mom shares that she “just exploded” with curiosity and that her memory is much better.
Her parents have called her Sammy Strong, owing to the strength and determination that she’s showing in spite of the overwhelming odds. She’s really showing everyone that she really is Sammy Strong.
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