For more than eight hours in late January, neurosurgeons pored over Bella Arcand’s brain, navigating a complicated matrix of blood vessels. When the eight-year-old girl emerged from the surgery at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, her brain had been cut in two, the right hemisphere rendered useless, in hopes the rare neurological disease that caused up to 60 seizures a day would be stopped in its tracks.
The doctors had performed a hemispherectomy, which effectively paralyzed the girl’s entire left side.
“When you’re dealing with every-day seizures and trying to do anything, I wasn’t able to see very far past our day-to-day. I was scared to look at surgery,” said her mother Bev Lafond, who travelled from their family home in Saskatoon for the surgery and to be with her daughter during her recovery. “I was scared of personality change, I was scared of blood loss, I was scared of…
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