Epilepsy surgery success for Eleanor

Eleanor Ashton, with her mother and father Natalie and Mark and her nine-month-old brother Jacob.
Eleanor Ashton, with her mother and father Natalie and Mark and her nine-month-old brother Jacob.
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A SOUTH Yorkshire toddler who suffered from a severe form of epilepsy is recovering at home after undergoing rare life-changing surgery which involved ‘switching off’ the right side of her brain.

Eleanor Ashton needed the six-hour operation after suffering daily fits which left her with behavioural issues and caused her to be disruptive in school.

Her parents Mark and Natalie, who are both GPs, said they had seen a great improvement in their daughter’s condition after epilepsy surgeon Dev Bhattacharyya conducted the operation at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Mark said: “The surgeon said it was a massive job and we had to accept the risk of a stroke or death, but without it, Eleanor wouldn’t have lived to a ripe old age and would have suffered seizures every day.

“Since the op, she hasn’t had a single fit. She’s learning to play peek-a-boo and connecting with people. Before the operation she hadn’t learned anything.”

After a normal birth, Eleanor, now three, developed a cyst on the right side of her brain which caused bleeding. As the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, doctors felt this was the cause of the fits and recommended her for the new surgery technique after other treatments failed.

Eleanor spent 11 days in hospital before being allowed home to Barnsley. As the operation was carried out when she was so young, the left side of her brain will now be able take over the functions normally performed by the right side.