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November Calendar Kid: Unwavering care for Elizabeth’s epilepsy
November 08, 2023
CHoR patient Elizabeth smiling in the apple orchard

    “Simply put, Elizabeth is pure love,” said her parents, Megan and Michael Skrocki.

    CHoR patient Elizabeth at home with her black lab FranklinThese days, you’re likely to find the 9-year-old playing school with her Squishmallow stuffed animals lined up as attentive students (practicing for her future career as a teacher) – or snuggling up to read a book with her family’s Labrador Retriever, Franklin. As Elizabeth’s family celebrates her one-year milestone of being seizure free, they look back on how far they’ve come.

    A series of seizures, an epilepsy diagnosis and finding a team at CHoR

    Elizabeth experienced several seizures during infancy, which led to her official diagnosis of epilepsy. Looking for a centralized and comprehensive approach to their daughter’s care, Megan and Michael brought Elizabeth to CHoR.

    “We wanted a full team under one roof that could easily communicate and come together to develop a great plan for Elizabeth,” they said. “Medical conditions with a child can be difficult, but everyone at CHoR shows compassion and has made it as easy as possible, even in the most distressing situations that are full of emotions. They provide solid, intentional care with a loving touch.”

    Dr. Lawrence Morton is Elizabeth’s neurologist, monitoring her epilepsy, medication and seizure activity. The Skrockis appreciate that he takes the time to talk with Mom, Dad and Elizabeth during appointments to make sure they understand Elizabeth’s progress without feeling rushed. He’s always available via the patient portal if they have questions or concerns between appointments too.

    Making eye care kid-friendly and fun

    Elizabeth also has eye conditions as a result of her seizures early in life. She sees ophthalmologist Dr. Evan Silverstein four times a year for her strabismus (eye crossing) and amblyopia (one eye not seeing as well as the other because of the strabismus). She doesn’t mind though because he’s well known for being patient, kid-friendly and fun. And she says he has the best trick for eye drops.

    “Each child is different and needs to have their examination tailored to them. I have both a literal and figurative ‘drawer of toys’ when seeing children in the clinic. I use play and joy to get the exam I need in order to diagnose and treat children with eye disease,” said Dr. Silverstein. “The trick for her eyedrops is that we lay her flat, have her close her eyes, and put the drops in the corner of her eyelids. Then, on the count of three, she opens her eyes, blinks rapidly and the eyedrops get into her eyes – all without pulling her eyelids open.”

    Dr. Silverstein has been treating her strabismus with glasses, which help straighten her eyes, and her amblyopia with patching her better seeing eye to help teach the brain to see out of her blurrier eye.

    From critical care to celebrating the joys in life

    While Elizabeth’s overall care has become more predictable and planned in recent years, the Skrockis are appreciative of the emergency and critical care they’ve gotten at CHoR in the past too.

    “There are too many people to name them all but the love and care and support that we received during one of the worst seizures in Elizabeth’s life will be something that we are forever grateful for,” said Megan. “From the fast decisions to the knowledge that was shared to the complete and thorough plan and the immediate follow-ups, we know that our trip to CHoR made an incredible impact on Elizabeth’s health and recovery.”

    Today, Elizabeth is doing wonderfully in third grade and she’s always up for a celebration or an adventure as she loves to plan and organize, ensuring all the details are just right. She finds joy in gymnastics, swimming, playing outside with her sister, baking chocolate chip cookies and brownies, developing recipes, creating experiments, riding her bike, climbing at PEAK, playing UNO and traveling to jump in the waves at the beach. Horseback riding lessons are her next mission!

    “Words cannot begin to describe just how proud we are of Elizabeth. Childhood looks different for a kid with complex medical challenges, but, wow, the grace and grit that go hand in hand make her unstoppable. Elizabeth has taught us so much in her life, but one thing is for sure, we are better parents (and people) because we have her. She is strength and beauty and bravery and smarts and love all wrapped into one. We’re proud of her every single day,” said Megan and Michael.

    A team to count on at CHoR

    While Elizabeth is enjoying all life has to offer, her mom and dad rest just a bit easier knowing they can count on their team at CHoR when needs pop up.

    “As parents of a child with continuous medical needs, having a kid-friendly hospital like CHoR close by makes a world of difference. It relieves some of the day-to-day stress knowing we have a safe and invaluable hospital available in our great city.”  

    Meet our other unstoppable CHoR Calendar Kids.

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