Help us, as our daughter, six year old Molly Woodley, fights irretractable epilepsy with the first of several brain surgeries on March 30, 2018. This special girl came into our lives February 7th, 2012, early, at 24 weeks gestation, weighing just over a pound, alongside her identical twin sister Melanie Elizabeth. Although her sister was unable to overcome their circumstances, Molly was immediately transported to another hospital, which had the means to support babies born under one kilogram. Over the next five months, Molly hit her milestones until she was released from the NICU in Saint Louis with just an apnea monitor and supplemental oxygen. Over the next 18 months, Molly surpassed all of the doctors’ expectations - she flourished, in all honesty. Unfortunately, one evening when Molly was two and half years old, her mama woke up to her unresponsive, fighting a grand mal seizure (status epilepticus
). Who knew how long she seized that evening, the doctors say over two hours, as they hooked her up to a ventilator to help her breath. She was in a coma for over five days that trip; it was the start of a very new life for our Miracle Molly; a life living with seizures. Generally speaking, a diagnosis of epilepsy typically comes after an individual experiences two or more clinical unprovoked seizures. Molly was diagnosed after her third episode, all echoing symptoms of the first, described above. So, Molly was forced to relearn the rules she detested so much of the children’s hospital, with her extremely long seizures. Her seizures, although not every day, would last anywhere from 30 - 120 minutes. With her medications, both daily and rescue being as strong on the central nervous system as they are, are known to place her into induced comas regularly. This is simply because of her inability to breath on her own, as a result of the many doses needed to stop her from seizing. Molly quickly went from 1-2 daily medications, 2-3 daily medications, taken multiple times per day, in combination with the two rescue medications. Today, Molly’s daily medication amounts have reached what would be the mass dosage for adults. As a brain surgery candidate at the University Iowa throughout 2016-2017, we made the difficult decision to move to Pittsburgh, PA this past summer. The Children’s Hospital at UPMC has been nothing short of REMARKABLE since our relocation in 2017. Although Molly has many other medical challenges waiting patiently in line for their turn to be treated (kidneys, skin, eyes, for example), both Molly and her family know her life will be in the hands of the surgical team at Children’s when in March, they plan to perform a thermal laser ablation of her primary seizure origin site in her brain. If successful, she will have a second surgery addressing her secondary seizure focus. If the thermal laser ablation surgery is unsuccessful, we will go back to plan #2, which will involve drilling 40 holes in Mollys head, implanting leads into her brain matter, waking her up, and enducing seizures for about a week. With that data (and information we already know), Molly would then get the leads removed, along with a resection of a good portion of her brain. She is on the list, and a perfect candidate for the RNS (responsive neurostimulation) brain implant, but she needs to be at least 12 years old, when her skull is mature enough to support the impact of the implant itself. She has a long road in front of her, but this has never bothered Miracle Molly in the past. Help us as we do our best to support our mollypants in her next endeavor: brain surgery. Thank you a million times over!! As Molly always does, please know our family is sending Molly’s juju to all of you fighting your battles out there - much love and thank you!!!!
To learn more about Molly’s story, feel free to visit her Facebook Page