By Elyssa Nothern
Tell us your story.
Our son, Elijah, was a happy baby. He hit all of his miles-stones, and had no health problems until he was 14 months old. That's when he started having seizures. He was falling, face first, 200+ times a day. Diagnosed with Infantile Spasms, Elijah under went two serious hormone/steroid treatments over the next year. Both worked for a short period, but the seizures kept coming back. After trying several medications, a different local hospital had run out of options for us. Elijah had become severely developmentally delayed during this time. We were desperate and scared for our son. That's when we turned to Children's hospital for help. Their team of neurologists had some fresh ideas, and preformed many tests, revealing that Elijah's brain was malformed, and that it was a likely source of his seizures. After some long EEG's, Elijah's case was brought up at a meeting where the neurologists, epileptologists, and neurosurgeons from Children's, and two other hospitals get together to discuss possible candidates for brain surgery. They really reassured us that this was the best course of action for Elijah. We felt like we had the best team of experts in the world on our side. Everyone that we talked to on Elijah's team made sure that we understood all of our options, and the risks and benefits of every huge decision we were asked to make. When we decided to go forward with brain surgery, Elijah's neurosurgeon was very reassuring. It was because of him that we were able to make the hardest and scariest decision of our lives. During the surgery, a lemon-sized piece of Elijah's brain was removed. After the most terrifying morning, waiting for news, the doctor came out of surgery with a big smile on his face. We were crying as he told us that everything had gone better than hoped. In the months since surgery, Elijah hasn't had one seizure. At 4 yrs old, he said "Mommy" for the first time.
What does Children's mean to you, your child and your family?
Children's Hospital gave us hope, when everyone else had run out of options for our son. Because of their incredible team of neurologists and neurosurgeons, Elijah has been given an incredible chance to learn without being constantly interrupted by seizures. Despite the terrifying and sometimes painful ordeals we had to endure at Children's, the hospital has a very warm place in my family's heart. From the volunteers that played music for Elijah, and gave him some moments of happiness; to the nurses that held my hand while I held my son's, to the incredible team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, and epileptologists who gave our son a second chance at life. I get tears in my eyes when I think of our time at Children's hospital, but they are tears of gratitude and love. Children's hospital means to us: A place where no child's problems are insurmountable; where nobody is out of options.