In the heart of West Virginia, people often tell the story of a young girl named Addison. Her story begins at age 2 when she faces chronic kidney problems. From 2 to 6, Addison was in and out of the hospital with frequent infections. Her world was full of hospital visits and uncertainty, yet her resilience shone, and her smile never faded.
As Addison grew, so did her challenges. In the summer of 2021, at the age of 8, she and her family enjoyed the activities at the local fair. But that night, something was wrong. Addison seemed to experience what her parents thought were night terrors. The terrors came every 45 minutes, so her parents Marcus and Christa Schrock took her to a children’s hospital in Pennsylvania. There, Addison was mistakenly diagnosed with panic attacks.
The Schrocks had planned a trip to the beach two days later and thought the family time, sunshine, and the beach would be healing for Addison. So they decided to keep their plans.
As they drove, Addison’s symptoms worsened. Her eyes became dilated. She was shaking and talking nonsense. Marcus and Christa knew their daughter, and they sensed these weren’t panic attacks. It looked like Addison was having seizures.
When they arrived at the beach, they decided to take her to the emergency room. But there, doctors told them to take Addison back to the hospital that did the initial assessment. Given Addison’s condition and the frequency of her episodes, the family knew there wasn’t enough time to do that. So they worked with the ER doctors, who finally ordered an MRI. The results were shocking: cortical dysplasia, a common cause of epilepsy and seizures.
Her parents’ unwavering advocacy led them to take Addison to WVU Medicine Children’s. After the long drive back from the beach to Morgantown, the family was met by doctors and nurses ready to help.
The medical team quickly administered treatments, including IV medications and an extensive neuro MRI. Doctors, deeply concerned, personally delivered the MRI results. Together, they and her parents made a vital decision to perform surgery. Despite complications like cerebrospinal fluid leaks and numerous seizures, the skilled medical team provided hope with a successful surgical procedure and continuous care.
P. David Adelson, MD, F.A.C.S, F.A.A.P., executive director of the WVU Medicine Children’s Neuroscience Center, says that despite complications, the team’s expertise provided hope through successful surgery and ongoing care. “In recent years, we’ve significantly enhanced the diagnostic capabilities and clinical innovations of pediatric patients with epilepsy and seizure disorders.”
“WVU Medicine Children’s excels in identifying brain lesions, like Addison’s cortical dysplasia,” said Dr. Adelson. “Our talented team can pinpoint the origins of abnormal neural networks, enabling us to offer optimal diagnostic and treatment options for patients like Addison and their families.”
With each passing day, Addison’s strength and spirit brightened. She became more than a patient; she symbolized hope for her family and every child fighting a similar battle. Through her journey, Addison’s family learned the true meaning of love, persistence and hope. Their gratitude toward the WVU Medicine Children’s medical team knows no bounds. Together, they watched their little girl reclaim her life because of the care she received.
“This hospital means everything to us,” said Christa “It means a fair chance at a life that our daughter deserves and the care she needs.” The team brought stability, education, and comfort to everything they offered. “At WVU Medicine Children’s, you’re never alone. We are so grateful, so beyond grateful, for everyone who’s played such a huge role in our lives. The doctors, surgeons, nurses, cafeteria staff, gift shop staff, and so many others touched our lives in endless ways.”
Now, as the 2024 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and WVU Medicine Children’s Champion Child, Addison is a beacon of hope and courage. Her story isn’t just about overcoming illness; it’s about the power of love, the strength of family and the miracles that can happen when determination meets the best of healthcare.