Thurston County 11-year-old girl gets fresh start after undergoing brain surgery

Allie Weideman, an 11-year-old girl, underwent brain surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital in early January and has since been seizure-free (Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Wiedeman's GoFundMe page).

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- An 11-year-old Thurston County girl and her parents faced an impossible decision, and the results have ultimately paid off.

Allie Weideman, daughter of Sarah & Rob, was diagnosed with Focal cortical Dysplasia (FCD). It is described as “a congenital abnormality of brain development where the neurons in an area of the brain failed to migrate in the proper formation in utero. FCD is a common cause of intractable epilepsy in children and is a frequent cause of epilepsy in adults.”

With no guarantee of success, Allie's parents decided to take the risk of undergoing surgery at Children’s Hospital of Seattle in early January. After pre-op invasive procedures where doctors placed an electronic mesh over her brain, the mesh allowed them to very accurately map the girl’s brain so they could find the major thought centers for speech, object recognition, vision, cognition, etc. It also allowed them to pinpoint the seizure activity.

Based on that information, doctors were able to remove the precise areas of Allie’s brain specifically associated with the seizures.

In the three weeks since the surgery, Allie has been seizure free. The anticipated and much-feared side-effects—loss of peripheral vision, loss of speech capability and others—were completely absent. For the moment, Allie is back to being a typical11-year old. (Click the video above to learn more and see the full story).

Allie's family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help with the financial weight of her surgery if you are interested in learning more.

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