Invasive brain surgery brings four-year-old boy ‘back to life’

Thomas Cotton is enjoying a seizure free life
Thomas Cotton is enjoying a seizure free life
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James and Joanne Cotton had tried everything to stop their four-year-old son’s seizures before invasive brain surgery provided a ‘miracle’ cure.

Thomas Cotton was suffering seizures every 30 seconds before an operation that disconnected half his brain put an end to his two-year ordeal.

James Cotton, said: “Since the surgery his speech is back, he’s back to school, it’s a case where half a brain is better than a whole. He was in such a bad way.”

Thomas, of Great Whelnetham, suffered his first seizures at the age of two and was diagnosed with focal epilepsy.

Months of devastating disappointment followed as drugs appeared to stop his seizures for two or three days only for them to return.

In 2012 Thomas was having hundreds of seizures a day and a specialist in paediatric epilepsy said his case was the worst he had seen.

James said: “Hearing that about your child is horrendous.”

In July 2012 Thomas underwent an operation to remove his temporal lobe at Great Ormond Street Hospital, however it failed to stop the seizures.

Four months later he was given a further diagnosis of rasmussen’s encephalitis, a rare neurological syndrome.

James said: “We had read about it and already knew it was pretty devastating. We knew the only option was a hemispherectomy.”

Thomas underwent the surgery on November 15.

James said he and Joanne knew the operation had been successful straight away.

He said: “It was like everything was in HD.

“The seizures had covered his sensations - it was like our son was coming back to life.

“It was a modern day miracle of science.”

The side effects of the operation were that Thomas’ left side is weakened and he has lost his peripheral left vision.

After three months of rehabilitation at the Young Epilepsy centre Thomas is walking again and will start primary school full-time in September.

James said Thomas cried only a handful of times during his treatment.

“It was so much easier just because he was so brave. He has never become frustrated that he can’t use both hands he will just try to find other ways to do things.”

Last Saturday James and Joanne held a party which raised £1200 for the Rainbow Ward at West Suffolk Hospital.

The couple wish to thank everybody at the hospitals and rehabilitation centres that helped Thomas’ recovery.

They said particular thanks was given to Dr Peter Powell of West Suffolk Hospital who helped push for Thomas’ treatment.

Family friend, Donna Crake will also be fund-raising to support those who helped Thomas.

She is completing three cycling events in nine months, she has already undertaken the Norwich 100 miles and will take part in the Great Barrow Challenge and a dirt half marathon before Christmas.

The money she raises will be donated to Young Epilepsy, to make a donation visit