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February 2011



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Girl on Swing

Tuesday, 1st February, 2011.

Press Assoc.

A three-year-old girl who suffered from severe epilepsy is recovering at home after undergoing rare life-changing surgery which involved “switching off” the right side of her brain.

Eleanor Ashton needed the six-hour operation after suffering daily fits which left her with behavioural issues and caused her to be disruptive in school.

He parents Mark and Natalie, both GPs from Barnsley, hope the fits will stop after epilepsy surgeon Dev Bhattacharyya conducted the operation at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

After a normal birth, Eleanor developed a cyst on the right side of her brain which caused bleeding. As the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, doctors felt this was the cause of the fits and recommended her for the new surgery technique after other treatments failed.

He mother Natalie said: “She was a very sleepy baby. My friend had a little girl the same age who was smiling and interacting, but Eleanor was not.

“I thought she would do it in her own time, but after four months I noticed she wasn’t looking to her left and I knew something was wrong.”

The epilepsy had left her with behavioural issues, she was disruptive in school and did not like personal contact. She also had learning difficulties as each daily seizure removed anything she had learned previously.

Although Eleanor is always likely to have some level of learning difficulty, her father said he was delighted with the operation: “The surgeon said it was a massive job and we had to accept the risk of a stroke or death, but without it, Eleanor wouldn’t have lived to a ripe old age and would have suffered seizures every day.

“In the last couple of months since the op, she hasn’t had a single fit. She’s learning to play peek-a-boo and connecting with people. Before the operation she hadn’t learned anything.”

Eleanor spent 11 days in hospital, including two on the high dependency unit before being allowed home. As the operation was carried out when she was so young, the left side of her brain will now be able take over the functions normally performed by the right side.

Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20110201/tuk-girl-has-life-changing-epilepsy-op-6323e80.html

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