Rabija Begic

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Rabija Begic, South Bend

Surgery changed the life of 14-year-old Rabija Begic, who started having seizures about three years ago. As the seizures increased in frequency, they affected her concentration, memory and good grades at LaSalle Intermediate Academy in South Bend.

Rabija’s neurologist referred her to Riley Hospital, where she and her parents Ismet and Hasena met Dr. Lisa Smith. An MRI showed that a scar in Rabija’s temporal lobe was causing her seizures. “Some friends and family told us, ‘Don’t do the surgery,’ but we believed the doctors,” Hasena says.

Dr. Jodi Smith removed the scarred part of Rabija’s brain on Sept. 1, 2016. The eighth-grader is now seizure-free and earning nearly straight As. Math is her favorite subject—“Solving equations is fun,” she says—and she takes honors courses in algebra and language arts.

Hasena has noticed a change in her daughter, who has always been smart and respectful. “Now I can see that she’s more confident and much happier. I don’t have words to thank Riley Hospital and the doctors and the Ronald McDonald House.”

Rabija is so proud to be a Riley kid that she convinced her family to get Riley license plates. As she says, “I wanted to be driving around South Bend with other people knowing how good and important Riley is.”

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