OKLAHOMA CITY – They ranged from small, nearly unnoticeable twitches to terrifying and life-threatening grand mal seizures, and for nearly her entire life, seizures have been a near-daily event for 11-year-old Hermoinee Lorett.
But following one of the first pediatric surgeries ever performed in Oklahoma attaching electrodes directly to the brain’s surface, Hermoinee had a successful epilepsy brain surgery at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center. She’s been seizure free since May.
Hermoinee’s mother, Deena Lorett, said her little girl is improving in leaps and bounds. She’s laughing more, her personality is blooming.
Hermoinee is learning, developing and growing cognitively as an 11-year-old should.
“Her language is off the charts now,” said Deena Lorett. “The difference has been night and day.”
In June 2006, when Hermoinee was only 3 years old, she was brought into the Lorett’s home as a foster child. She had many health issues, and three months later, the Lorett’s experienced their first grand mal seizure with Hermoinee, whom the later adopted as a permanent member of their family. Grand mal seizures are characterized by violent muscle spasms and loss of consciousness.
When the brain has a seizure, it’s like a short circuit. Seizures can cause muscle spasms, loss of consciousness, strange behavior and other symptoms. They can be caused by a multitude of things, including illnesses, brain trauma and fever. People are diagnosed with epilepsy when they have recurrent seizures. Like Hermoinee, some 326,000 U.S. children have been diagnosed with epilepsy.
For many, the seizures can be controlled with medications. But it was becoming clear to Hermoinee’s parents that medications weren’t going to control Hermoinee’s seizures.