“What’s gray and wears red boots? A getwellephant!” he told them.
“He’s his funny self again, which is really a blessing to see,” Barney said later that night.
Brian’s parents couldn’t bear to put their 11-year-old through the grids and strips procedure a second time. A first round of surgery gave him more than two seizure-free years. The family could try doing a minimal procedure again, Madsen told them, and potentially face five or six more surgeries in the years to come. Or they could opt for a full hemispherectomy in hopes of putting a real end to the seizures, which is what they chose.
Brian has cerebral palsy along with epilepsy — both caused by a brain bleed that struck shortly after his premature delivery, 14 weeks early.
Luckily, Brian’s brain had rewired itself since his injury at birth, and the left side of his brain had taken over control of both sides of his body. So far, Brian seems to be doing well. His mom is pretty sure he hasn’t lost any motor control, but it will probably take a few physical therapy sessions to be sure. And his vibrant, empathetic personality is intact, his parents say.
“Will this take care of everything? They can’t give you that answer,” said his father, Eric Manning, of Watertown. “Right now, I want two months of [seizure-free] peace. If I get to two years, four years, I will still always be watching. You just don’t want to get too comfortable.”
Karen Weintraub can be reached at Karen@KarenWeintraub.com.