Beatrice is a typical 7-year old. She loves swimming, playing outside, keeping up with her older siblings, and her scooter.
What is not typical are the physical challenges Beatrice has had to endure and bravely overcome in her short life.
She was born prematurely with low birth weight, mild cerebral palsy and developmental delays. Beatrice is also nonverbal and was diagnosed with epilepsy around age two.
At about five years old, she began suffering from much more severe and debilitating seizures that would last for hours at a time and were quite traumatic.
One such seizure actually resulted in Beatrice suffering a TBI-traumatic brain injury.
Her once bright and youthful spirit also diminished with the onset of these more lengthy, serious seizures, noted her parents.
“We were really overwhelmed and deeply concerned for her. We just couldn’t imagine how she could get better. We could barely grasp that this nightmare was happening to our child,” recalls Beatrice’s mother, Mary Kat Cone.
The family began seeing Child Neurology Consultant’s Dr. Karen Keough, a board-certified epileptologist. Dr. Keough suggested thermal ablation surgery to the brain.
Thermal ablation uses MRI-guided laser light with pinpoint precision to eliminate the exact spot in the brain where the seizures generate. It is often a last resort for epilepsy patients when medication and other treatments are unsuccessful.
“Dr. Keough was ‘SuperWoman,’ truly God’s answer to our cries for help. She took the reins in what needed to be done to manage Beatrice’s traumatic seizures,” says her mother. “She cared about Beatrice and was ready to fight hard for her health and well-being.”
Beatrice had her brain surgery in April, and Mary Kat says they have been “amazed by the success of it. We have seen her regain attention span, an ability to learn, and her curiosity. It is an absolute delight. We praise God and thank him for Dr. Keough, the CNCA staff, Dr. Tim George, his staff, and everyone at Dell Children’s!”
Although she is still on anti-seizure medication, the traumatic seizures have now stopped, and Beatrice’s spunky personality has returned. She is playing again, riding her scooter, and typing up a storm learning language and asking questions non-stop on her Ipad using LAMP Words for Life—a communications application designed for children and teenagers with autism and other speech and auditory differences.
For Beatrice, we’re sure this is just the beginning of showing the world what she’s capable of!