Hannah Webb is a typical teenager who spends her spare time playing soccer, texting, chatting with her friends on the “face time” application and dabbling in dramatic arts. She recently celebrated her 13th birthday in her hometown of Atlanta surrounded by her family and friends. The milestone birthday is an important one for Hannah, who was born with a brain malformation called cortical dysplasia, a form of epilepsy
that caused her brain to seize continuously from the moment she was born.
At two month’s old, Hannah underwent brain
surgery (a temporal, occipital parietal resection) at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to relieve her of her constant seizure activity after medication did not provide relief. This rare procedure involves removing the affected part of the brain for patients with severe epilepsy disorders.
The surgery proved to be a success. She was completely off medications by the age of one and has been seizure free since the operation.
The family has celebrated every birthday milestone with happiness and caution, explains Sandra Webb, Hannah's mother, knowing that there is always a possibility of the seizures returning. But that has not happened, thankfully.
The family recently traveled to Miami to undergo a checkup at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. "I felt it was time to see her doctors now that she is entering young adulthood and knew I needed to take her back to the doctors I trust,” said Mrs. Webb.
Dr. Michael Duchowny
, Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
at Nicklaus Children’s hospital, met with Hannah after not having examined her in 12 years. A round of tests including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
and Electroencephalogram (EEG) revealed Hannah’s brain is stable with no signs of seizure activity or cortical dysplasia.
"Hannah appears to be out of the woods, which is something we have been hoping and praying we would hear for 13 years,” says Mrs. Webb. “You know your child is doing well when your doctor introduces her to all the residents as a success story. We are so grateful to Dr. Duchowny and the entire Brain Institute team for all they did and continue to do for her," she said.