A brain surgery patient has working behind the scenes at a charity golf day, to thank sponsors who raised thousands of pounds to help fund a revolutionary robot which has meant she now lives her life seizure free.
Charlotte Loxley, aged 24, from S10, volunteered at the IFM Insurance’s sponsored Neurocare golf day after years of treatment by neurology specialists at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
The popular event raised more than £50,000 in the last two years, with the funds contributing to the groundbreaking ROSA surgical assistant robot, which determined where in the brain Charlotte’s seizures were starting.Charlotte said: “When I was ten years old I was at a friend’s sleepover, when in the middle of the night had a severe convulsion which resulted in me being admitted to hospital to be stabilised.
“After further tests I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I was prescribed a low dose of anticonvulsants and remained well until the start of my GCSE’s. Due to exam pressures and the stress surrounding that, I began to have more seizures.
“My medication was increased gradually to try to control them, but I started to experience lots of side effects, which were very difficult to live with.
“I tried lots of different medication, but it never managed to fully control my condition. As a result my neurologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital discussed the possibility of me being a candidate for neurosurgery.
“The first procedure as an inpatient for surgery would involve using ROSA. After a lot of thought and talking this through with my parents and lots of medical staff I decided to agree to the procedure – a decision which has changed my life.
“The monitoring from the electrodes determined that 100 per cent of my seizures started on the left side of my brain, then travelled to other areas of my brain, like a firework. This meant I was a candidate for surgery.
“In November last year I had the extensive neurosurgery at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Since then I’ve only one seizure which was post-operative and very common during the healing process. I am now six months seizure free.
“I can’t thank the Neurocare team and all the hospital staff enough for all the support I have had and for the excellent care I experienced at all times. I have also had a lot of support from various epilepsy support groups, which has been invaluable.
“Volunteering at the golf day is my way of giving something back. Without Neurocare and supporters like IFM Insurance my life would be very different. Thanks to them I am hopeful that I can have a future that is seizure free and hopefully so can many more people like me.”
Supporters of Neurocare raised £250,000 to bring the ROSA surgical robot to Sheffield, which IFM Insurance contributed to through the sponsorship of the charity’s annual golf day event.
The Royal Hallamshire Hospital is the only NHS hospital in the UK to have ROSA. Without this commitment by IFM and all the supporters patients would not have access to this life changing facility.
ROSA provides neurosurgeons with extraordinarily accurate 3D maps of the brain, allowing them to precisely and safely reach areas they could not reach before. Its pinpoint precision is far less invasive and has the potential to reduce surgery times by as much as 40 per cent, greatly improving recovery and surgical outcomes.
This offers real hope to those with poorly controlled Epilepsy, deep-seated brain tumours, Parkinson’s Disease and other complex brain disorders.
For more information about Neurocare, or to donate, visit www.neurocare.org.uk or call 01142 269678.