Chloe Provenza is an 18-year-old with a personality that can light up a room. Looking at her smile, you would never know she once lived with a seizure disorder that could cause daily seizures, starting at the tender age of 18 months. Her mom, Melanie Provenza, desired a normal life for her daughter.
The seizures may have originated from a stroke Chloe suffered while in the womb. Chloe was born with hydrocephalus, an excess of cerebral fluid around the brain, and she was more susceptible to a brain bleed. The stroke led to a cerebral palsy diagnosis as Chloe grew. Because of these two diagnoses, she continued care with dedicated pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons.
At times, Chloe would experience auras, a warning of an upcoming seizure, and excessive abdominal pain. After several incidents throughout the day, the symptoms would often turn into long-lasting seizures of two hours or more, affecting Chloe’s day-to-day life.
Although Chloe had stomach pains and some GI-related symptoms, her mom suspected the seizures were related to a neurological issue. In 2020, during a visit with a local neurologist, the possibility of surgery was discussed and a new treatment plan was put into action.
“After spending so many years seeing specialists and seeking relief, we finally got the answers we needed,” Melanie said. “I didn’t want to dismiss other options or not consider the surgery until we had accurate results.”
Chloe underwent sleep studies and had numerous MRIs and electroencephalograms, or EEGs, to record her brain’s electrical activity. The surgical epilepsy team at Wolfson Children’s Hospital thought she was a good candidate for brain surgery, and referred her to UF Health Jacksonville pediatric neurosurgeon Alexandra Beier, DO, FACOS, who would place Chloe on the path to living seizure-free. Beier works with UF Health Pediatric Neurosurgery – Prudential Drive, which is located within Wolfson’s Children Hospital.