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Patient Stories - Pediatric Neurosurgery

Rhianna Wilson

Rhianna's Story - Chiari Malformation

Teenager Rhianna Wilson spent her senior year of high school in and out of four San Diego hospitals, seeking relief for her vision loss, leg pain and debilitating headaches. She was diagnosed with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a genetic disorder marked by overly stretchy connective tissue, but no one could explain what caused her worsening symptoms. Doctors encouraged Rhianna’s parents to consider a seeing-eye dog and enroll her in a school for the blind. Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Aria Fallah referred Rhianna for a stand-up MRI, which revealed a large Chiari malformation, a rare condition in which the brain slips downward and compresses the spinal column.

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Cameron's Story - Brain Tumor

Last year in March, I received a call from the school nurse. Saying "C" is alright but I wanted to call because today in class he said he blacked out, didn't know what was going on. The Nurse said he possibly had a seizure, and to please take him in to see his doctor. I (mom) was a bit freaked out, knowing my son is high functioning autistic. I have heard of boy hormone changes & possible seizures during teenage years.
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Kobe's Story - Using Virtual Reality for Brain Surgery

"I woke up one morning and I didn't feel good," says seven-year old Kobe Morrow, whose family brought him to UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital after seeing three other doctors at different facilities. During his visit in November 2016, UCLA pediatric neurosurgein Aria Fallah, MD. showed Kobe his brain with the help of virtual reality and used the imaging to explain the surgical procedure to the parents. Dr. Fallah performed a 7-hour-long surgery to successfully remove the cavernous malformation from Kobe's brain.

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Justin's Story - Brain Seizures

UCLA Surgeons Use Minimally Invasive Procedure to Cure Boy With Rare Form of Seizures - Justin Cho is an engaging 9-year-old. Although he’s somewhat shy, he is quick to smile and has an infectious laugh. “Justin has always been a happy child — very energetic and bubbly,” said his father, Robert Cho. What Robert and his wife, So, didn’t know was that the laughing fits he often had before bedtime were actually seizures and signs of a serious medical problem. The Chos brought Justin to UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, where he was treated by Dr. Aria Fallah, a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Story on 

Brock and Dr. Aria Fallah

Brock's Story - Brain Seizures

In October 2015, seven-year old Brock tumbled to the ground in his home as a tonic-clonic seizure hijacked his brain and paralyzed his body. Since birth, seizures plagued his childhood. But his parents, Ben and Tiffany Cheeseman, knew this seizure threated to steal his life.

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Nathan's Story - Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

We first started to notice Nathan’s seizures when he was 10 weeks old. At the time we didn’t know that they were seizures, only that something seemed strange about his eyes, his facial expressions, and his body movements.

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Nikki's Story - Project Epilepsy

Four-year-old Nikki lives in Perth, Australia. She was born healthy, but two years ago, she began suffering seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite medications, Nikki was still suffering up to 200 seizures every single day. Brain scans showed nothing and Nikki's parents were at their wits' end.

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Aiden's Story - Sturge-Weber Syndrome

This rare congenital condition affects one in 50,000 Americans. In 4-year-old Aiden's case, a deep purple birthmark on his face and scalp was the first sign that he had this rare syndrome. The birth mark is associated with blood vessels within his brain that with seizures were slowly destroying cortex. Violent seizures threatened the destruction of the other hemisphere.

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Lucy - Epilepsy and Tumor

Our only daughter Lucy, who is now 12-years old, was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis. For the past ten years, we have treated her with medications as prescribed by her doctors. But the last few years have been the most heart-wrenching years for Lucy and our family.

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Nichele - Spinabifida

I would like to introduce you to our daughter, Nichele, who will be 10 years old in October. While she is in public school with her third grade classmates, no one would ever guess that she has had 24 surgeries.

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