Episode 5 of 7
Maddy was born prematurely and after extensive testing, her doctors concluded that she suffered brain damage due to a stroke in utero. Her team of doctors didn’t know exactly what would happen and their predictions ranged from her not developing further or she could grow into a healthy girl and maybe have a limp from the stroke. Dara’s only option was to take everything one day at a time.
At age 1 Maddy was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy on the right side of her body. She started working with different therapists to regain control and was doing really well. Although delayed, she hit every milestone and started reading at a very young age.
“We were warned by her neurologist that there was a possibility of her having seizures, but the doctor thought it would happen before she turned the age of 5,” says Dara. Maddy was almost 6 when she had her first seizure early one morning. Dara didn’t know what was happening because the only seizures she had ever witnessed were on TV and they looked more like a grand mal. Maddy’s seizures looked very different. She didn’t act like herself, wasn’t coherent, and made strange swallowing noises. Dara wasn’t knowledgeable about cerebral palsy (CP) at the time and thought maybe Maddy’s CP was getting worse because she walked slanted and her body would clench up.
It turns out the types of seizures Maddy has are partial complex and she can talk and walk through them and they mostly affect the right side of her body. After her first seizure, Dara knew their lives were going to completely change.
Tune in tomorrow for episode 6 of 7 and dive into the next chapter of Dara and Maddy’s journey.