Thinking About Zebras Leads to a Rare Diagnosis and Accurate Treatment
While some people believe in the patter of reindeer on roofs at Christmas, a doctor at MedStar Georgetown’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) imagined zebras. Her quick thinking led her to a startling, rare and accurate diagnosis.
Last December 24, Dr. Raquel Farias-Moeller, a second-year resident at the PICU, examined Izabella, a newly admitted 10-year-old patient. While many children and families were home preparing for holiday festivities and opening gifts, Izabella was in the hospital because of seizures. Her parents and extended family were at her bedside worried and heartsick.
Mother’s Intuition Leads to Accurate Brain Tumor Diagnosis
While most parents believe their children are extraordinary, Jessica Lovelace and her husband, Chris Clarke, have scientific proof. Their daughter, Kyla, is one of the very few children in the United States diagnosed each year with a rare brain tumor lodged in an even rarer —and dangerous — location.
Fortunately, Jessica and Chris’ determination to “get the best” for Kyla led them to MedStar Georgetown where the right diagnosis and surgery stopped this dangerous brain tumor from destroying the little girl’s life.
It all started with a series of seemingly random events. Kyla was born with torticollis — a muscle imbalance in the neck — which was corrected using gentle exercises. But when she was three, her mother noticed that Kyla was having some difficulty with her balance, not being able to stand on one foot and getting extremely dizzy after only one or two twirls.
Pediatric Neurology Patient Testimonial
Like 19 month-old toddlers, my daughter, S.J. has received shots every time she has gone to the doctor’s office. It didn’t take long for her to figure out that if we walked into a waiting room, we were not walking out without getting multiple needle pricks first. She learned very quickly that a good defense mechanism was to scream and cry and thrash around as much as possible (although that tactic never really worked). It used to be easier when she was nonmobile and less fluid with her motions—we could bribe her or simply hold her down. Those days are, alas, over. I have a true Tasmanian devil whirling about when we go for a doctor’s visit.