Half of Six-Year Old’s Brain Shut Off by Surgeons

Half of Six-Year Old's Brain Shut Off by Surgeons

(DailyDig.com) – Surgeons in California shut down half of a 6-year-old girl’s brain in an attempt to heal her of a rare brain ailment without altering her life or personality traits.

A year ago, Brianna received a diagnosis of Rasmussen’s encephalitis, bringing daily pain to the once-vibrant reader, dancer, and singer. Crystal Bodley, her mother, reported that her daughter had problems walking because her leg would always be bent upward.

The severe condition, an ongoing inflammatory process in her brain that may cause motor skill degeneration and lifelong brain damage, was causing her to suffer seizures every day, but a 10-hour operation may have been all she needed to overcome the illness.

Dr. Aaron Robison, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Loma Linda University Health, suggested shutting down the right side of her brain, as an alternative to the more invasive practice of removing tissue. Simply turning it off stops the spread of the illness and may even reverse it.

According to Robison, physicians opted to access the portion of her brain via the sylvian fissure, a natural opening, and turn off the diseased part.

The left half is still operational and is now doing the tasks formerly performed by the right. The girl’s fine motor abilities in her left hand and part of her peripheral vision may be impaired, but the doctors are optimistic that PT will help her recover and return to her normal 6-year-old self.

Since Brianna’s surgery went well at the end of September, the Bodleys have been documenting her rehabilitation on Instagram. She started walking with assistance a couple of days ago, and her mother stated on October 9 that the child stayed awake the whole day for the first time since surgery.

Crystal expressed relief when her child was revived and alert. Her discomfort has been managed and is nearly gone.

The only thing that would make her grandma happy is to watch Brianna create art, play, and have as much joy as she did prior to her illness.

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