Call it a mother’s intuition, but Angie Brady was troubled every time she noticed a blank look cross the face of her usually energetic 3-year-old daughter.
“Chloe would just look off into space, sometimes for 30 seconds or more,” said Brady, who is from Elberfield in southern Indiana. “It knew it wasn’t daydreaming. Something wasn’t right.”
Researching her daughter’s symptoms led Angie to suspect Chloe might be suffering from absence seizures, categorized by brief, sudden lapses of consciousness.
Despite assurances that it was probably nothing, Angie pushed to have Chloe checked out at Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Newburgh, which has a partnership with Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
There, an EEG confirmed Angie’s suspicions—her daughter was suffering multiple, small epileptic seizures every day, known as petit mal or absence seizures
The family was referred to Riley pediatric neurologist Marcia Felker, M.D., and Angie, her husband Jeff and Chloe made the nearly three-hour trek to Indianapolis.
“We weren’t sure what to expect, but once you get past the front doors, it doesn’t look like a hospital,” Angie said. “It’s colorful and bright, and the staff was really warm to us.”
Chloe was in awe of the playful wagons used to maneuver children around the hospital, and she immediately took to her new doctor.
“I really like Dr. Felker. She helps me,” Chloe told her mother, who also found the doctor to be down-to-earth.
“She’s not one of those doctors who talks in ‘mumbo-jumbo.’” Angie said.
Chloe, now 4, is on two anti-seizure medications and sees Dr. Felker every few months.
The ordeal has given the family a new appreciation of the important role Riley has across Indiana.
“When something’s wrong with your child, you’re upset. You have all these emotions.” Angie said. “We want to let other parents know they’re not alone.”