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Local 5-Year-Old Boy Prepares for Brain Surgery
UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKRC) A young Clermont County will be going off to the Mayo Clinic for a rare surgery, and on the way he'll be getting a send off of a hundred balloons. It's also his birthday and his parents want to share the story of his life so far and what they are hoping for in the future.
Four year old Jack Steiger got his first seizure within hours of being born. He was born with cortical dysplasia. After several surgeries he went from having hundreds of seizures in just one day to a few a year. However, he also has other complications that have made life difficult.
Heather and Todd Steiger say their son has a very happy temperament. He doesn't speak, and walking is difficult due to involuntary movements of muscles. His arms and legs for instance don't get the right signals from his brain. He has two conditions that cause the problems. One is chorea and the other is dystonia. The chorea causes the movements and the dystonia causes Jack's arms and legs to lock.
Jack will be spending his fifth birthday at the Mayo Clinic in preparation for a surgery expected to reduce his symptoms. It's called deep brain stimulation or DBS. Heather Steiger says the conditions are rare and it's even more rare to have a child this young get DBS surgery. He is one of the youngest in the world.
Electrodes will be placed in the child's brain and a type of remote control device will help to change the signals that are messed up from his brain to his muscles.
The Steigers feel fortunate they learned about the surgery. Todd Steiger says doctors have told them they can expect Jack's symptoms to improve by fifty percent or better.
Heather says they'll "do whatever it takes to make it happen for him".
A birthday celebration is planned this Saturday at the Anderson Township Civic Center. That's where hundreds of balloons will be released to see Jack off to the next part of his journey.