DAVIE (CBSMiami) – An 11-year-old Davie girl, who once suffered nearly 50 seizures a month, is living seizure-free following a laser brain surgery in Arizona.
Holly Hudson was born with a tumor called hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) which affects approximately 1 in every 200,000 individuals. She was diagnosed with epilepsy at age three but the tumor was not discovered until last year.
The tumor, which is benign, lies in a portion of the brain that is hard to reach without causing severe damage to vital areas.
Hudson has lived her life getting seizures which were caused by the tumor. The seizures, which can be severe, can damage the brain and lead to cognitive impairment.
“I would call it the funny feeling,” Hudson told CBS4’s Summer Knowles. “It kind of tickles. I would describe it as stuff dancing in my head I guess, and it would tickle.”
“This condition is not well known and we weren’t sure which steps to take to help our daughter,” says Gina Hudson, Holly’s mom is quoted as saying in a press release from the Barrow Neurological Institute which performed the surgery on Holly. “As luck would have it however, I stumbled across a news story about a young man who had been cured of his seizures following a new surgery at Barrow to treat the same condition. I immediately contacted Barrow and they agreed to take Holly’s case.”
The surgery uses MRI-guided laser technology to destroy HH brain tumors. Holly’s surgery required only three stitches and a night’s stay at the hospital.
Holly underwent surgery at Barrow, which is located at Dignity’s Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, on June 9th. She and her family returned to Florida three days later.
“Not long ago, before this type of laser technology became available, removal of these masses required much more invasive surgery,” Dr. Peter Nakaji, Hudson’s neurosurgeon at Barrow, is quoted as saying in the press release. “I’m thrilled we were able to help Holly and the whole team at Barrow is gratified by her terrific recovery.”
Holly has been seizure-free since the surgery and is looking forward to returning to her favorite sport of swimming.
“I’m happy everyone at Barrow was able to help me,” says Holly. “Some of my seizures were scary and now I hopefully won’t have anymore.”