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Child Has Surgery at Wolfson Children's Hospital to Disconnect Left from Right Brain to Help Control Condition Causing Hundreds of Seizures a Day
Date:11/23/2013

(PRWEB) November 24, 2013

Christina Bell and her husband Troy didn’t suspect anything was wrong with their newborn son when he was born in 2005. Not until he was 9 months old when, while in the care of Troy’s grandmother, Malichi had his first seizure and began convulsing.

“I had just left for work when I got the call from my husband’s grandmother about what happened,” remembers Christina. “We took Mali to the Children’s Emergency Center at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, where they gave him medications to stop the seizure.”

At first, doctors at Wolfson Children’s Hospital thought Malichi had a seizure resulting from a high fever. But soon, after a consult with a Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville pediatric neurologist, Malichi was diagnosed with epilepsy and hypotonic cerebral palsy, which causes him to have low muscle tone that requires him to be in a wheelchair and to be fed through a gastronomy tube. Last year, the Bells got a specific diagnosis of the type of epilepsy Malichi had: Lennox Gastaut syndrome, a rare form of the disorder affecting only 5% of people with epilepsy.

Over time, Malichi began to have five different types of seizures, including atonic seizures, known as “drop attacks.” Nemours pediatric neurologist Harry Abram, MD, who became Malichi’s doctor when the boy was almost three years old, explains. “In a drop attack, the patient loses all function and literally just drops right where he is. During these attacks, Malichi has chipped and lost teeth, had severe head injuries requiring stitches, and has even bitten through his tongue.”

Over the years, Dr. Abram prescribed 10 different anti-seizure medications and a ketogenic diet, but Malichi’s seizures didn’t respond to medical therapy. He and the team of pediatric neurologists with Nemours and pediatric neurosurgeons with the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine-Jacksonville worked together to address Malichi’s seizu
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