Blog Overview


Byron Pratt, age 11, has Cerebral Palsy (Right Hemiplegia) caused by a stroke before birth. In 2015 he developed seizures and a rare form of Epilepsy called ESES, neither of which responded to treatment with medications. On November 3, 2017 he had a Functional Hemispherectomy. He has had many other major procedures in his short life including surgery for exotropia in both eyes, tonsils and adenoids removal, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), Constraint Therapy, and heel cord lengthening. The recent posts are about the Hemispherectomy and what follows. Older posts about other procedures can be found earlier in the blog or by links in the sidebar.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Demonstration Child

Today Byron was the demonstration child for a large gathering of Physical Therapy professionals/students at the Center for Discovery in Hurleyville.  He delighted the students by singing songs for them while he was being treated.
















Byron sang an excerpt from the opening of Sponge Bob the Musical at the end of the session.



And finally, one of the therapists attending today, worked with Byron in Ithaca when Byron was four. She let us know about the death of a very special person: 


RIP Kathy Schlough - 1952 - 2018


Kathy was Byron's first therapist after his diagnosis.  She had been the head of the Physical Therapy PhD program at Ithaca College and had just left there because she missed working with children directly.  She was an invaluable guide, friend and mentor during the early days of Byron's diagnosis.  She was an amazing artist and we have two of her paintings in our home.  We were stunned to learned that she died from cancer in May of this year at 66.  Dear Kathy, you will be missed by the hundreds of children and their families for whom your calm and steady presence was a great comfort.





Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Journey is Almost Over

We had our 10 month check up after Byron's hemispherectomy.  This is the first time we have seen his neurologist since the surgery on November 4, 2017.

She reviewed the MRI and the overnight EEG and confirmed what we suspected - Byron is seizure free! At least for now, and hopefully forever.

We are going to begin to ween off all medications starting today so that by the one year anniversary of the surgery, he will no longer be on any seizure medicine.

Then we will do one more overnight EEG to confirm that even without medication, he is seizure and ESES free.

She also asked several things of us: if Bob and I would speak to other patients and parents going through the same thing, if Byron would speak to a large conference of nurse practitioners in a few months, and if Byron would consider being in one of the commercials for the hospital called "Amazing Things Are Happening Here."  We said we would be willing to consider all and to stay in touch.

She also told us that because of Byron, she spoke to the director of the hospital about being more aggressive in letting people know that the hospital does this type of surgery.  Last year we told her that when we were first looking for hospitals for this surgery, Columbia never came up on list-serves, parent groups or seizure blogs.   She said then, that she wants to change all that, and today she confirmed that the hospital was moving in that direction.  That's really great news, because Columbia really is a good place to have a Hemispherectomy.  And in partnership with Blythedale for rehab, it makes it very easy to go through the whole process.