Vivian Smyth

First post: Jun 11, 2022 Latest post: May 13, 2023
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On May 19th, 2022 Conor went to into Vivian's bedroom to wake her up for school and found her unresponsive in her bed.    At first, he thought she was joking around, then quickly realized something was wrong.  He called me into her room, concerned that she was "acting funny" and had noticed some jerking movements.   When I arrived, Conor had pulled her onto the bedroom floor.  She was breathing but was not interactive or responsive.  After Conor described the jerking movements, we suspected a seizure and called 911.   Our paramedics arrived within minutes and were fabulous.  Vivian began regaining consciousness as they assessed her.  We brought her to the emergency room and initial testing was normal, save a "hypodensity" finding on her CT scan which was indeterminate.  We went home later that day with Vivian feeling back to normal (but sleepy).


Two weeks later we went down to Mayo for additional testing.  Her EEG (test of brain waves) was found to be abnormal, indicating focal seizures.  She was found to have a >60% chance of having another seizure and was therefore diagnosed with Epilepsy.  She started anti-seizure medication immediately.


We went back to Mayo St. Mary's a week later for an MRI scan.  This gives more detail about her brain and what is causing the seizures.   The weeklong wait for this result was difficult for both of us, neither wanting to speak our fears on what the MRI might show.  Unfortunately, we did not get the news we were hoping for as the MRI revealed that Vivian has a brain tumor.  The next step is to meet with a neurosurgeon to talk about treatment options and learn more about the tumor.


Vivian has been her normal self through this journey, which is the biggest blessing of all.  We draw strength from watching Vivian just being herself.  Her biggest complaint is that she does not want to have anesthesia again (which she had for the MRI so she could lay still) because she thought it tasted bad.  All told, she is doing great!  We love you, Vivi!



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