A bright spark of life was born happy and healthy on November 1, 2007. She had been showing signs of advanced development until 2 weeks after her first birthday, when she woke up paralyzed on her right side. It was as if an invisible line had been drawn down the center of her body, dividing her into two equal parts. Everything to the right of this “line” was affected.
After a week-long stay in the hospital there were no answers for Ashtyn’s condition. She was still paralyzed on her right side and unable to even hold up her own head. Ashtyn immediately began having prolonged seizures, which led to a battery of tests and multiple medications. She soon began seeing specialists, going to different therapies, and re-learning everything. This included how to walk, talk, and feed herself.
For a short time her seizures seemed controlled, but as the years went on, they became more and more frequent. At the age of 4, Ashtyn began substantially regressing and was sent to Mayo Clinic. There, the team was the first group of specialists to have answers for Ashtyn’s family. She was diagnosed with HHE (Hemiconvulsion-Hemiplegia-Epilepsy) Syndrome. Her medical team recommended brain surgery, but Ashtyn’s family was not ready for this invasive procedure. After a year’s time, Ashtyn had regressed more and her family was desperate to preserve any quality of life for their little girl. With more information about the brain surgery, and more testing a team of specialists was formed for Ashtyn. They convinced the insurance company that surgery was necessary, and she had brain surgery 4 months later. A modified hemispherotomy to be exact!
Ashtyn and her family spent an entire month at Mayo Clinic for surgery and inpatient rehabilitation. Her recovery since has been a roller coaster ride. Ashtyn’s love for life and insatiable desire to enjoy every minute of her day has allowed her to surpass all expectations in her young life. Last week, a few days before Christmas, Ashtyn was diagnosed with Influenza A. While this may not seem to be scary for someone without epilepsy, it sent Ashtyn to the hospital twice in a day with cluster seizures. Due to the virus, her seizure threshold had become so low that she was having more than 10 seizures every few hours. She has been hospitalized for a week at St. Francis and will be transported to Mayo Clinic within the day. Please help Ashtyn and her family on her journey to recovery. Your prayers and support is greatly appreciated.
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