18-month-old is now seizure-free after surgeons remove half of her brain

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A little girl is now seizure free one year after surgeons removed half of her brain during a rare procedure at Riley Hospital for Children.

The procedure is called a hemispherectomy and it was the first one in 15 years to be performed in Indiana.

The little girl’s parents are extremely thankful that their daughter will get a fair shot at life.

“She doesn’t crawl, she doesn’t walk, but we are very happy to see her without any kind of seizure,” the girl’s father Waheed Chuahdary said.

Zahra Batool is 18 months old. She may be crying today, but she’s acting just like any other baby would, compared to last year, when she experienced up to 10 seizures an hour which essentially disabled her and halted her development.

“Whenever the severe seizures would come up on her, it actually cleaned her memory,” Waheed said. “So she was not able to recognize me as a dad and her mom.”

Zahra stopped having seizures and started developing properly after her surgery.

“It was one of the happier moments of my life after when I saw her that she’s moving her body and things like that,” Waheed said.

Even with only half of her brain, since Zahra is so young, doctors explained her remaining brain will adapt to do whatever a full brain can, she just might have a little less control over certain parts of her body in the future.

“Patients who have had an anatomic hemispherectomy, they are no less creative, no less able cognitively to contribute to society and keep up with their peers,” Dr. Jeffrey Raskin said.

Right now, Zahra is still going through therapy to learn how to crawl, eat by herself and catch up developmentally.

“I think she’s doing great!” Dr. Raskin said. “She’s almost completely back on track. She’s a beautiful little girl. She’s making huge developmental strides.”

Zahra’s family says their next goal is to have her eat by herself in the next couple of weeks and hopefully they’ll see her crawling shortly after.

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Author: Travis Robinson

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