Eight-year-old thrives after doctors remove half of her brain

One little girl has recovered remarkably after having half of her brain removed in an effort to stop her from having seizures. Now, her parents are sharing her story.

HOUSTON - One little girl has not only survived a rare procedure, but has recovered faster than doctors expected her to. 

Eight-year-old Sammy had half of her brain removed at Texas Children's Hospital earlier this year. 

Now, her parents are sharing her success story and why they made the difficult decision to move forward with the surgery.

Sammy had struggled with seizures for years. Doctors told her parents removing half of her brain was an option.

And although they were hesitant at first, the results are nothing short of amazing.

It's easy to see why they call the little girl "Sammy Strong."

Sammy and her twin Noah were born premature in 2008. At one pound, four ounces, they were given less than a 10 percent chance of survival. 

Both lost their vision, but for Sammy there were more struggles. 

"Around the age of 2, we both noticed what we believe was her first seizure, it was long and it was frightening." said Jordan Folloder, the twins' mother.

After years of doctor visits and trying different medications, her parents made the daunting decision to remove half of her brain.

"It sounds radial to remove or disconnect half of a child's brain." said Dr. Daniel Curry at Texas Children's Hospital. 

But doctors at the hospital discovered the left side of her brain never fully developed.

"So if you disconnect it, the whole side, her good brain can start to develop and take over." said Dr. Curry.


After a grueling 15-hour surgery, the look on the faces of the Folloder family was priceless. 

"The child we sent into the operating room is the child we got back, but ten fold." said Jordan.

Just hours after surgery, Sammy was able to tell her parents she loved them.

What's even more miraculous: Instead of a summer-long stay at the hospital, Sammy walked out after just ten days.

Since leaving the hospital, she has been seizure free.

"That's the gift of Sammy, she never complains, she never quits." said Jordan. 

Sammy's family donated the proceeds from her #SammyStrong t-shirts to The Blue Bird Circle Clinic at Texas Children's.

It helps other families in similar situations. After all this, their goal was to pay it forward.




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