Cary 5-year-old heads to kindergarten after brain surgery
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CARY, N.C. -- Brain surgery gave a 5-year-old boy from North Carolina a fresh start on life. A year ago, Spike Parrent from Cary suffered from one of the worst cases of pediatric epilepsy doctors had ever seen. Last November, surgeons removed a portion of his brain. Since then, Spike has not had a single seizure.
Now, there's more hustle and bustle at Tom and JoJo Parrent's house than usual. This year, Spike started kindergarten, which his parents did not thing would be possible a year ago.
"The idea of leaving him for a full day, it was unimaginable a year ago," said Tom Parrent, who said Spike used to experience more than four dozen seizures a day. "At that point we weren't even thinking about school. It was just, how can he survive the day to day."
Last fall, surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic removed a portion of his brain that formed abnormally. Spike is now healthy and active.
"The first day of school, he's going in pretty much like any other kid," said Parrent.
Just like the other 5-year-old students at Turner Creek Elementary School, Spike dived into the toys and showed off his counting skills
While Spike's classmates in North Carolina can never relate to his medical experience, at a recent gathering in Cleveland, everyone could relate to what he's been through. During the pediatric epilepsy reunion, Spike's family got a chance to share their appreciation with the medical team who worked on spike.
"It was a great opportunity to come back and see all of them and thank them for giving him his life back," said Parrent.
Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic said Spike continues making good, developmental strides. While he still takes anti-epileptic medication, doctors are hopeful they'll be able to lighten the dosage over time due to all the progress spike has made.
"To have the whole family move forward in a completely different way, there's nothing more gratifying than that, " said Dr. Elaine Wyllie, Cleveland Clinic's Pediatric Neurology Center Director.
With the future wide open for Spike, his parents remain forever grateful knowing their son will grow up like any other kid.