My name is Christy Cato, my very dear friend Carol has a precious little girl and her story is why I write this today. Sadie Thomas is an extra ordinary 10 year old girl. She is brave, a fighter and overcomer. She likes going to school, loves her friends, enjoys playing soccer with the miracle league and loves going to the park. Most of all she loves her parents and life. Her parents Carol and Craig Thomas have faced and fought the battles along side Sadie. Their "Normal" is much different than most parents, but it's their "normal". These parents have committed to advocate for Sadie and have relentlessly searched for the best treatment options for Sadie. Pleasetake a few minutes to read Sadie's story. The story of a brave little girl.
Sadie was born full-term, but at 3 months old, she started having a type of seizure called infantile spasms. She was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke. As unusual as it may seem, kids do have strokes, too...even unborn babies. It is not known when or why Sadie's stroke occurred, but it is believed that it was during or shortly after her birth. Symptoms of stroke in babies do not always occur right away, but the presence of seizures and a left/right hand preference in an infant are sometimes signs. Sadie's stroke caused right hemiplegia cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cognitive and developmental delay and peripheral vision impairment.
Although the prognosis from the stroke damage was not promising for independence, Sadie was able to begin walking and talking at 3 1/2years of age. She has overcome obstacles that medicine has said that she wouldn't be able to do. Early intervention and the support of her family and friends were the foundation for her to reach milestones.
Over the years, her seizures have been increasingly challenging to control. Her infantile spasms have changed into different kinds of seizures as Sadie has changed herself. Sadie is 10 years old now, and for the past 3 years, she has been challenged with complex partial seizures that occur daily and several times throughout the day. The seizures have affected her emotionally, physically, socially and in school. She has been labeled as drug-resistant.
There are several experimental drug programs out for epilepsy, but both the physicians and Sadie's family have determined that a brain surgery called a hemispherectomy will be the best chance at controlling Sadie's seizures. After a series of tests and consulting with several different specialty teams, Sadie has been confirmed as a candidate for the surgery. Sadie will have a left functional hemispherectomy on July 11th at Children's Hospital in Birmingham. Hemispherectomy surgery is not a new form of treatment, but it is reserved for those patients whose epilepsy cannot be controlled any longer by medicine. For information about epilepsy surgery, visit http://chasa.org/medical/hemispherectomy/.
The area of her brain that was affected by the stroke will be disconnected in hopes that the seizures will stop and not cause further damage to the "good" parts of her brain.
Sadie will be in the hospital for several days (maybe more), but there will be therapy and monitoring weeks after the surgery to make sure that she is adapting well and to watch for signs of infection later on.
Throughout this Sadie has been a Champ. She is one brave little girl and an inspiration. I know she has experienced being afraid and not understanding. Her parents are always by her side while she goes through each battle.
I have had the pleasure of working with Carol for 15 years. Carol is one of the hardest working people I know and although her family has been in the midst of this battle over the previous 10 years she is dedicated and always delivers excellent work on time. She is truly an inspiration to everyone who knows her. Lucky for Sadie, her parents do have medical insurance, but there will be several out-of-pocket expenses during Sadie's stay in the hospital and throughout her recovery (co-pays, prescriptions, hospital meals, time off work, gas, therapeutic needs, etc.). This is certainly a unique procedure and we want Sadies parents focus to be on her recovery and quailty of life.
Every little bit will help this little girl. Even a $5 or $10 donation will help more than you know. If you can't donate, no problem. Please share on your Facebook page and other social media pages. We ask that you pray for this family, the medical staff and especially Sadie. All donations will be greatly appreciated.
All money donated will go directly to her family for medical and hospital stay expenses. Copays, medicine, therapy, ongoing expenses. If it becomes necessary the donations will be used to pay bills. Paid time off will run out, but the bills keep coming. Please help reduce financial worries, so they can focus on their warriors recovery.
I can say that Carol is one of the kindest people I know and would help and has helped others on a regular basis. Over the years Sadies' care has cost a significant amount. Please consider joining me and supporting this family as they go through this procedure and believe it will improve overall life tremendously.