Payton Savage Discovers a Surgery That Could Get Rid of Her Seizures


Credit to Karen Savage

Paiton Savage is visited by one of the comfort dogs while she was in the hospital in July 2016 for her electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG figures out what parts of the brain aren’t acting normally through electrical activity.

By Anna Lindquist

Junior Payton Savage has been prone to seizures all of her life due to her epilepsy, but soon, she will have the opportunity to have a surgery that could get rid of her seizures all together.

At St. Louis Children’s Hospital, they have started using a robotic surgical assistant called ROSA to help with identifying parts of the brain that inhibit seizures. They attach electrodes to the general area of the brain the doctors think the seizures originate from in the first surgery. From there, the doctors would remove that part of the brain in the craniotomy surgery.

“I’ve had epilepsy for 16 years, and we’ve tried most of the medications out there,” Payton said. “They’ve kept me decent but they’ve never made a huge impact. The surgery is basically the last thing that might help. I’ll be able to drive, I’ll get some of my fine motor skills back, it’ll help my comprehension in school. This is my last shot.”

Even though the surgery would benefit Payton’s life drastically, there are many risks to the surgery, including losing the mobility in her right leg.

“We’ve thought about the negative side effects of it and how we’d prepare her for that,” Karen Savage, Payton’s mother, said. “We’ve thought about how she would have to go through rehab to build strength in her leg again. It’s just trying to figure out how we’re going to overcome that if it were to happen.”

While Payton and her family anxiously wait for the surgery on Jan. 17, her friends are also there to offer support and to be with her during the recovery period after the eight to 10 hour surgery.

“As her friend, I’m obviously nervous for her,” Estefania Cruz-Casillo said. “I know that this is a big deal for her, and I’m here for her. I know that she’s strong enough to go through with it.”