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Life beyond epilepsy: Oklahoma girl is seizure-free after brain surgery

Hermoinee Lorett, 11, underwent an epilepsy surgery that, as best surgeons can tell, has changed her life. For most of her life, the Oklahoma girl has suffered seizures. Since the surgery, she has been seizure free.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: July 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: July 12, 2014


photo - 
11-year-old Hermoinee Lorett gets some blush applied before a press conference at the Samis Family Education Center Auditorium inside the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Hermoinee recently underwent two brain surgeries that have left her seizure free. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
  PAUL HELLSTERN
11-year-old Hermoinee Lorett gets some blush applied before a press conference at the Samis Family Education Center Auditorium inside the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Hermoinee recently underwent two brain surgeries that have left her seizure free. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman PAUL HELLSTERN

Hermoinee Lorett bounded up the stairs without hesitation.

The motivation?

Makeup.

The 11-year-old girl was preparing for a news conference at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, where her family would celebrate, alongside her doctors, that Hermoinee hasn’t had a seizure in about 60 days.

And Friday marked the first time that Hermoinee ever got to wear makeup. The smiling girl with a flower in her hair and silver shoes on her feet had earned her close-up.

Hermoinee has epilepsy, and for most of her life, has had small seizures almost daily and suffered major seizures about once a year. A surgery to remove a piece of her temporal lobe in her brain changed that.

A team of medical professionals at The Children’s Hospital successfully performed epilepsy brain surgery in May, and Hermoinee’s seizures have stopped.

Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Amanda Yaun said Hermoinee’s seizures could come back, but overall, her prognosis looks good.

“Ideally, the seizures will not come back — there is a possibility, and sometimes just right next to where I did the surgery can start becoming a seizure starting point,” Yaun said. “In that case ... there is potential for more surgery if she needs it, but she has a really good chance of staying seizure-free, given how well the seizures and the recordings of the seizures and the MRI findings have all matched up.”

Surgery is not an option for every child with epilepsy. Sometimes, a child’s seizures can be treated with medication. Not Hermoinee, though.

No medication controlled Hermoinee’s seizures long enough to give her the qualify of life her parents wanted her to have.

At school, Hermoinee would learn something one day, and a seizure would come along and erase that day’s work. She couldn’t speak full sentences and had trouble voicing what she thought, wanted or needed.

“We all just look around and smile because we have all been at the worst with Hermoinee, and now we’re getting the best,” said her mother, Deena Lorett.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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