Rachel’s Story

Polaroid picture of Rachel

The Right Choice for Rachel

Imagine if your child had seizures every day, dropping to the ground without any warning, her eyes moving erratically, her lips turning blue, her whole body stiffening and jerking wildly. From the age of two, these seizures were a reality for Rachel and her family. Medications didn’t help, and by age five, she was losing cognitive skills and strength on the left side of her body. The seizures were making the right side of her brain literally disappear. Last year, Rachel underwent a hemispherectomy, a rare type of brain surgery in which much of the right half of her brain was disconnected and removed, at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The surgery was successful in stopping her seizures, but she lost all motor skills on the left side of the body. Therefore, recovery would take some time as her brain reorganized to regain lost skills. Rachel and her parents were in California for more than a month for the surgery, and they missed home and Rachel’s three brothers. Luckily, ChildServe’s Stelter-Fisher Transitional Care Unit is right here in central Iowa, providing intensive nursing and rehabilitation for children recovering from illness and injury. Rachel stayed at ChildServe for two months, where she could be close to her family and her home while she regained her abilities. Today, Rachel still comes to ChildServe for physical, occupational, and speech therapy each week, which has helped her resume dance classes, t-ball, soccer, and all the other activities that little girls love.