PERSONAL STORIES

ROMMI, 15 YEARS

Rommi is 15 years old and is originally from San Juan de Oriente, Chiriquí. He lives with his father and paternal brothers in a countryside region of the province.

Rommi was born without problems and developed like a normal child. His seizures began at age 5, and quickly became very difficult to control. During the seizures, he would fall forward which caused many skull and face traumas. It also led to generalized crisis. These convulsive events increased with time, and he presented up to 10 seizures per day, despite multiple therapeutic schemes. The seizures caused him not to be able to go to school and prevented him from having a healthy lifestyle. The medical situation even prevented him from doing the basic tasks on the farm.

In May 2014, Rommi was referred by Dr. Abadia and Dr. Baez for epilepsy surgery. The NYU team with Dr. Weiner and Kuzniecky performed surgery on Rommi after implanting electrodes in his brain at the Children's Hospital of Panama. In a period of less than 12 hours, Rommi had dozens of attacks. The studies concluded that the seizures originated in the left part of the brain and therefore a left frontal resection is performed. Immediately after surgery, Rommi has no deficits and the convulsions stop.

Since his surgery, Rommi has no more convulsions. He is still taking anticonvulsants at lower doses but can now perform the normal activities of a boy his age. He attends seventh grade school. He is rapidly advancing in his studies and is independent in all the activities of daily life.

For Rommi and his family, surgery has been a total blessing. The things he likes best such as bathing in the river, horseback riding and herding cattle are already part of his life and will be in his future. His epilepsy was defeated.