Madison was only 7 months old when she had her first seizure at a shopping center with her grandmother. Later she had a second seizure while sleeping, and within a month had several more episodes. Madison was taken to Children’s Hospital Colorado for testing and was ultimately diagnosed with epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by sudden recurring attacks of motor and sensory malfunction.
Over many months and several hospital visits, doctors tried a variety of medications to get Madison’s seizures under control, but the medications offered only temporary relief. At 2 years old Madison was growing and gaining weight as expected, but was not talking like most 2 year olds. She started speech therapy and her medications continued to be monitored and adjusted.
“Our lives revolved around Madison’s sleep schedule and making sure she ate healthy. These were very important aspects to prevent her seizures,” said Heidi, Madison’s mother.
After almost three years of balancing medications, Madison’s parents decided to seek other options. The family was advised by doctors to consider surgery. But because it would be difficult to operate on the location in Madison’s brain from which the seizures were originating, performing a brain surgery would be complicated and could result in left-side paralysis.
After almost a year of discussing the surgery and undergoing tests, Madison’s family elected to try the surgery with the hope that it would improve Madison’s quality of life. She was 6 years old.
Although Madison’s surgery greatly reduced the number of seizures she experienced, she still experiences seizures periodically. A second, more invasive, surgery could eliminate the seizures, but Madison and her family feel the risks are too great.
“Bill and I have decided that at this point in Madison’s life we should wait for her to help make decisions about future surgery options,” Heidi said.
Madison is now in fifth grade and has braved a lot in her young life. She loves school, playing tennis and jazz class.