COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The thirteenth annual B106.7 Children's Hospital Radiothon is in full swing, and donations to the annual fundraiser continue to help make miracles happen at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital.
With the help of foundation funds, a new unit opened recently that is helping families of children with epilepsy to diagnose and manage the disease.
The technology in the unit even helped doctors save the life of five-year old Aidan Lee of Lexington.
"I can still remember this day, clear as a bell, that he [Dr. Harley Morgan] came running through, bursting through the door saying he was in a continuous state of seizures," said Farah, Aidan's Mom.
Aidan has Angelman's Syndrome and, as a result, Epilepsy. He was three years-old when his family rushed him to the ER at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital. Pediatric Neurologist Dr. Harley Morgan says Aidan was in the most serious condition a child with epilepsy can develop.
"He had developed status epilepticus," said Dr.Morgan. "Basically it means the child is now in a state of continuous seizure activity, and if you cannot get the seizures to stop they will eventually lead to the child's death."
Doctors put Aidan into a drug-induced coma in hopes of stopping the seizures. They then hooked him to a portable Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Aidan stayed in the coma for two days, and then doctors tried to wake him up.
"The critical periods are when you're trying to let him come out of the coma and watching the brain activity, " said Dr. Morgan. "Everybody's on the edge of their seats because you really don't know if the seizures are going to stop."
The first attempt to stop Aidan's seizures did not work, and doctors put him back into another coma. "You have to cycle them back down, and if you've done that two or three times already…it starts to get really serious," added Dr. Morgan.
During the entire process, the hospital's portable Epilepsy Monitoring Unit made it possible for Dr. Morgan to watch Aidan from anywhere.
"It made me feel at ease, because he was continuously watched- 24/7," said Farah. "Even at Dr. Morgan's home he was able to access Aidan and brainstorm and figure out what we had to do to get those seizures to stop."
The next time doctors slowly woke Aidan up, the seizures had stopped. "When he woke up and was starting to smile, it was one of the best experiences of my life," recalled Dr. Morgan.
Just recently donations to the hospital's foundation made it possible for the hospital to open a two-bed Epilepsy Monitoring uUit. While Aidan was hooked to a portable unit, there are now two rooms specifically equipped to monitor children with Epilepsy.
"Today [the unit] is a critical piece of not only Epilepsy diagnosis, but Epilepsy management over the long haul," said Dr. Morgan.
The addition will allow Dr. Morgan to continue to walk hand-in-hand with even more children like Aidan.
Aidan is now five years-old, and his mom Farah says his seizures have been much less frequent. "As time goes along it's becoming easier and easier to manage seizure control for him," said Dr. Morgan. "We're in a good place now and that part of his management has become much less problematic."
The money raised provides services and support to patients and families, and over the last 13 years- Radiothon has raised $1.8 million for the foundation.