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Asked about her expectations for after the surgery, Kelley used that word again. The one tattooed on her mother's wrist, and in bold, wooden letters painted purple on the Kelleys' fireplace.
Lately, the seizures have been coming more frequently more than once a day at times. At best, they're done in 25 or 30 seconds.
It works like this: surgeons take out a piece of the skull and implant the NeuroPace a programmed computer chip roughly half the size of an iPhone in its place. They connect it to electrodes, spread strategically throughout the brain where the seizures start. The NeuroPace system then detects abnormal electrical activity in the brain and delivers small bits of electrical stimulation to stop seizures before they begin.
A little girl in a purple dress climbs the couple steps to the Kelleys' door, stretches, rings the doorbell and retreats.
with her mom.
"Look at all these people she's touched," said Gina Smak, Kelley's boss at a Woods Creek based before and after school program. They're off to greet Kelley with a send off and prayer vigil a show of support for a young woman who's been through a lot.
"The two of them went with their uncle and cousins out to dinner the other night. (I asked), 'Do you have a pill?' " Gail Kelley said. "We're just always thinking ahead. Food and Drug Administration.
Then, one door swinging inward, Ashley Kelley reveals herself behind the glass. Her family her parents, Gail and Jim, her sister, Kourtni, 17, and brother, Ryan, 24 fills in behind her.
This one is Ashley's, and the decision came easy.
People have crowded around the Kelleys' walkway, filling their yard, spilling into their driveway and across the sidewalk.
The Kelleys have kept their expectations somewhat tempered, partly because of what history has taught them. At age 9, Kelley had her right temporal lobe removed, a procedure that stopped the seizures for more than a year before they slowly crept back into her life. The decision to pursue that surgery was ultimately her parents' and the two struggled with it, Gail Kelley said.
"I would like to be more independent," Kelley said. "I would like to be able to drive. I would like to be able to finish my classes, and maybe find another job . a life job, a full time job."
or so children she works with at the before and after school program. She gives more hugs, returns to her family, cries hand in hand Reebok Ventilator Supreme Grey
The worst of them stretch seven or eight minutes. It's for those instances that Kelley's friends and relatives carry one milligram, dissolvable tablets of a drug Reebok Easytone Womens Shoes named Clonazepam. If the seizure persists long enough, they place one under Kelley's tongue. They place a second if the first doesn't kick it.
Patients who've received the implant have fared well during decade long clinical trials, according to a news release from Rush University Medical Center. The device led to the complete elimination of seizures in nearly half the patients.
Support for woman fighting epilepsy
"This started just a couple weeks ago as a little idea," said Tammy Bielfeldt, who organized the vigil.
The hope a word Kelley's Crystal Lake family uses often is that the NeuroPace controls or reduces or maybe even completely stops all these seizures. Kelley suffers between 15 and 20 of them a month, ranging in duration and intensity but sometimes teetering toward life threatening. Her mother tracks them in a pink binder, and it is thick.
"My hope is that it works," she said.
Brain damage, too, becomes a risk at a point.
Kelley's first seizure came at 16 months, presenting itself in a way now familiar but at the time foreign and frightening. A second ago, she'd been giggling Saucony Shadow 9000
on the swings. Now she would give no reaction to the cues of her parents.
"Her heart rate continues to drop, and it gets so low that without medical intervention, we're not going to get her back," Gail Kelley said.
Ashley Kelley thanks them. She gets surrounded by a dozen Reebok Classic Leather Grey
Emergency responders told the Kelleys their daughter was having a seizure and a serious one, at that. It was the beginning of what has become an unpredictable life.
Kelley, to this day, rarely gets the more noticeable Grand mal seizures, which present as violent muscle contractions. But, as time ticks and Kelley doesn't come out of a seizure, the risk of lifelong complications increases.
A couple families came together to make shirts in the color of the cause. They adorn the majority of the crowd, which surely tops the 122 people who accepted the invitation on Facebook.
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (AP) It is Thursday night, July's last hurrah, four X's on the calendar until 22 year old Ashley Kelley goes in for her life's second major surgery. This time, doctors will take out a piece of her skull and replace it with a newly FDA certified device called a NeuroPace RNS System.
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