Seizure-Free Following Brain Surgery, Zoe Finds Happiness and Sense of Calm Teaching Adaptive Yoga
Zoe Blair celebrates two birthdays every year: her actual birthday in October and the anniversary of her life-changing brain surgery every September.
“We always celebrate this day [September 25] as her second birth because it was the day she got her life back,” said her mom, Michelle. “Now 10 years later, she is an amazing, independent, active person, so far removed from that first diagnosis."
At 5 months old, Zoe suffered her first seizure. Local doctors in Dayton were blunt in their assessment, telling Zoe’s parents, Michelle and Jeffery, that the seizures would not go away and that their daughter most likely would not enjoy a good quality of life.
Refusing to accept the grim diagnosis, they requested a second opinion from another pediatric neurologist. After weighing their options and receiving a referral to the Cincinnati Children's Division of Neurology, they headed south down Interstate 75 for Zoe’s care.
At the first appointment, Michelle said they were put at ease as the pediatric neurologist thoroughly explained Zoe’s condition—medically refractory epilepsy—in easy-to-understand terms. In this form of epilepsy, medicines are unable to control the patient’s seizures. However, the family was reassured that other treatments were available and that Cincinnati Children’s experts had experience treating many other patients like Zoe.
“[The neurologist] looked us in the eye and told us our baby would live a long and wonderful life. And she was right,” said Michelle. “I can’t imagine what [Zoe’s] life would look like if we had never gone to Cincinnati Children’s.”
Successful Brain Surgery Changes Zoe’s Life Forever
Over the years, Zoe has been treated by a myriad of doctors, nurses and experts from different specialties across Cincinnati Children’s, including occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT) and speech therapy.