With the tremendous amount of support that Jake’s foundation has received we were able to help a family whose 9 month old baby girl is fighting cancer. Her name is Isabella and she is just precious. She has lots of personality and is a very happy baby. Her big brother Donovan is very polite and smart as a whip. We really enjoyed meeting Jessie (mom), Prince (dad), Isabella, and Donovan. Jessie shared Izzie’s story below.
Miss Isabella Love Davis, born November 16th, 2010. 6lbs 10oz, 21in. long and as deathly as can be! Little did we know the long journey she would go thought in just her first year?
It was the first time daddy watched her all day by himself. She was only a month old so of course he was super nervous and didn't take his eyes off of her. As they played, he noticed something strange and called my out of worry. He told me she had held her breath and her face started to turn blue but it was only for a few seconds. We started to laugh at him because daddy is such a worry wart. So we didn't think much of it and told him she would be just fine. Three months later, in March, she had that same 'spell' but this time we call saw it and it happened 3 times that day. We were all sorry for not believing daddy the first time and call the doctor that night. They told us to come in immediately because this was a sign of something serious such as a heart murmur or seizures. After a long night in the emergency room and hours of testing they determined that her heart was very deathly but we were going to be admitted to Children's Mercy for further testing.
The doctors scheduled an EEG which conformed she was indeed having seizures. They told us she has Epilepsy and will forever by on medications to control the seizures. To us this was a relief; it was something we can control. They informed us there was still one more test they needed to be done. They let us know that a MRI is always done just too much sure that there is nothing in her brain, such as a tumor, causing the seizures. The doctor actually told us most of the time it MRI shows up negative but it’s still done just in case.
My husband and I were so exhausted and finally able to close our eyes without such a worry of what was wrong that we decided to take a nap while we waited for the MRI and results. I will never forget the feeling that was through my body when we were woken up by the doctor. That 'just in case' test came back positive. The MRI had shown Issie in fact had an abnormality in her brain. This was the biggest shock to everyone. How could this perfect, sweet little girl have a problem with her brain? The doctors informed us that it could just be abnormal cells or a tumor, but it would just be something that we will be monitoring. We met with her Neurologist, Dr. Cruse, who said we will focus of controlling her seizures and repeat a MRI in 3 months.
At home, we started her first new medication. Weeks went by with dose increases and blood work but she was still having seizures, Dr. Cruse decided to change the medication. Feeling like we were back at step 1, we were hopeful for this second medication to control her 'spells'. Things did start to look up for her. The medication was working and she was almost a full month with no seizure until one bad weekend when they came back strong and heavy. Dr. Cruse decided it was time to do another MRI to see if there had been any changes.
In May, we got a phone call with the MRI results and were told the abnormality in her brain had grown which would indicate that is was indeed a tumor and that surgery would be the next step. This was heart breaking news to everyone in our family. See, this little girl, Isabella, is more than just a daughter, granddaughter, niece, or cousin. She is the sweetest little angel that brings so much joy and happiness into every one’s life. She has made our family much stronger and closer together than we have ever been. The thought of our baby girl having brain surgery blew out minds. The only choice we had was to move forward and do what was best for Issie. All the calls were made and the appointment was set to discuss the next step.
Fast forward to July 13th, where we met with Dr. Igbas, the most compassionate and caring doctor i have ever known. He informed us he would be her surgeon and explained the process of the procedure. He made us feel so comfortable and at ease with what Issie would be going through. He showed us the images of her brain and the difference between the two were obvious that it had grown. He told us he would like to see the surgery done as soon as possible given us the option of a few weeks or next month. After talking it over, my husband and I decided the selfish decision would be to wait until next month, but the right decision would be to do this as soon as possible. So I called Dr. Igbas and we were given the shocking date of July 22nd, NEXT FRIDAY. We took that time to celebrate and prepare, though I'm not sure how well you can prepare for such a thing.
The surgery took about 8 hours total. The longest 8 hours of our lives but completely worth every minute after seeing Dr. Igbas walk thought those waiting room doors with a smile. He pulled us into a private room and tingles went down my spine. He told us she was one tough little girl and that she did great. He had removed the entire tumor that he could see and was very pleased with the surgery. Tears of happiness and joy filled every one’s eyes. That next morning our little Isabella woke up with hugs and kisses for everyone. This 8 month old baby girl just went thought brain surgery and has bounced back to herself in just a matter of hours. It’s truly amazing. She has been seizure free since her surgery and is completely happy and healthy. She plays and laughs just like she had before the surgery. Dr. Igbas is such a talented man to have done was he has done.
We are still waiting for the results of the pathology tests to know exactly what type of tumor it is and to know our next step, if any. There is a chance Issie will need chemotherapy but if this little girl can go home just 3 days after brain surgery and be back to her bouncing self, we know she will fight and be strong through anything.