PETALING JAYA: Many people do not know that some epileptic cases can be cured through surgery.
A couple has even deemed such procedure a miracle after seeing their son’s recovery.
A taxi driver who wanted to be known only as Mohd Alam, 58, and his wife Hamidah Ahmad, 48, a cook, said they could not believe that their son Muhammad Aazim, 10, no longer suffers from seizures after a brain surgery last year.
Muhammad Aazim was 13 months old when he had fever and started to have seizures. He was diagnosed with encephalitis. Hamidah said he used to have 12 to 15 seizures a day and would suddenly fall on the floor.
It was only last year when the boy was nine that Mohd Alam and Hamidah decided to turn to surgery. And since then, life had been a total turn-around for them.
Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) paediatric neurology department head Dr Ahmad Rithauddin said encephalitis had caused scarring to one part of Muhammad Aazim’s brain and this led to electrical disturbances in the brain.
“We tried all sorts of medication on him but none could control his seizures. And because of his seizures, he stopped learning new things,” he said.
He said epileptic seizures could be due to genetic factors and brain lesions such as tumours, scars or abnormal brain formation. “Some of these lesions can be treated by surgery,” he said.
Dr Ahmad said epilepsy was under diagnosed in Malaysia and some patients might not have received proper assessment due to a lack of awareness, adding that some patients suffer up to 40 to 50 seizures a day.
Expertise available only enabled HKL and most hospitals to carry out straight forward surgeries, but through a public-private collaboration, more complex cases were referred to a private hospital, he said.
Through the partnership between Sime Darby Foundation (YSD), Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (RSDHC) and HKL, surgical treatment was made possible for the lower income group through the Epilepsy Surgery Programme Fund, said YSD CEO Yatela Zainal.