Luca enjoys skating, hiking, riding his bicycle, playing tennis and reading. He’s an active seven-year-old, but throughout the first years of his life, enjoying daily activities was a struggle.
As a baby, Luca frequently suffered from seizures. At 9 months of age, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Doctors tried multiple anti-seizure medications in hopes he would eventually outgrow his condition, but after a few years, Luca’s body was no longer responding to the medication. His episodes were occurring multiple times daily, as often as every 20 minutes.
Doctors discovered an area of malformed tissue in his brain that was the source of his seizures, and Luca underwent two brain surgeries at Children’s Colorado. The first surgery identified the exact location in his brain that was causing the seizures, and the second surgery removed the brain tissue.
“Our neurologist and neurosurgeon worked in complete tune with one another, each filling information gaps, answering questions, exerting the utmost patience with parents who were, quite frankly, beside themselves with worry and fear,” said Jacqueline, Luca’s mom. “The nurses handled overwhelming tasks - inserting tiny needles into Luca’s impossibly small veins, shaving his head, tending to the electrodes that were directly on his brain - in a consistently compassionate, tender manner.”
Luca’s family provided continual support to him throughout their stay at Children’s Colorado, while doctors and nurses tried to make the family as comfortable as possible.
“As Luca nodded off at night, I’d climb in bed next to him, and the two of us would talk about what he’d accomplish as a five-year-old. He’d learn to ice skate backward. He’d learn to read and write letters to his grandparents. He’d let his hair grow long,” Jacqueline said.
Luca experienced a full recovery and is now seizure-free. He has a scar that runs from ear to ear, the only visible sign of his illness. He says he misses Children’s Colorado and has even asked his parents if he can come back and spend the night. But for Luca, it is no longer necessary. He is healthy and active – and he can now ice skate backward.