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Mom who earned a Ph.D. to understand her daughter's seizures ended up finding a treatment for her

Doctors were reluctant to point out why then 2-year-old Savannah was having repeated immense seizures, prompting the mom to return to school.

Mom who earned a Ph.D. to understand her daughter's seizures ended up finding a treatment for her
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Tracy Dixon-Salazar

We have often seen moms doing the most inspiring and unbelievable acts when it comes to the safety of their children. Tracy Dixon-Salazar did the same for her beloved daughter Savannah. The young girl would often have seizures from the age of 2 and doctors were not able to diagnose the problem nor provide a treatment, as reported by TODAY. The persistent mother did not wait for others to cure her child and remarkably found a way to treat or in the least, soothe her daughter. Salazar recalled the time when her daughter was 2 and had her first seizure. She said, “Both my husband and I went at the same time, ‘What’s a seizure?’” 

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Helena Lopes
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Helena Lopes

“At the age of 3, they came back hard and fast. She started having hundreds of seizures a day,” Salazar said. She then discovered that her daughter had epilepsy, but doctors refused to diagnose the same or term the seizures as such and called them “episodes or spells.” “We found out she had epilepsy by reading her chart. No one ever told us. I requested her medical records because I was a mom on a mission,” she recalled. The daughter developed a condition called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) at the age of three. It causes seizures and other hindrances to mental and physical development, per the National Library of Medicine. Salazar explained that the condition developed due to a barrage of seizures itself.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Mart Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Mart Production

“Your brain is also trying to develop. She was 3 years old, and her brain was trying to put itself together. She’s got all this abnormal seizure electricity going on, so the brain wires itself wrong,” Salazar pointed out. The condition was becoming fatal for Savannah to the point where the girl was constantly hospitalized and had to be resuscitated. “Who is more motivated to understand it than the people directly impacted? And it’s attacking the thing most precious to you — it’s your kid,” she remarked. Despite multiple trials and efforts, no medical help was sufficient for Savannah. 

Salazar then took matters into her own hands and got a PhD in neurobiology, as well as a 3-year post-doctoral program to understand her daughter’s health and condition better. “Reading those (medical studies) drove me to go to college. I needed an outlet for the pain,” Salazar recalled. After years, the mom earned her degree and was able to do far more for her daughter, who still suffers from repeated seizures. She added that she has been able to reduce the frequency of the seizures. “I just wanted to understand what was going on with my child. I didn’t go into this thinking that I was ever going to help her. That was a surprise to me,” she remarked. The mom researched and figured certain calcium proportions were adding to the problem.

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She mentioned that Savannah’s medication would leach calcium from her body, so they gave her supplements. “We tried (calcium) three different times and she always had more seizures. I’m like, ‘There’s something to this.’” She then spoke with doctors and put the girl on a calcium blocker. “It worked within two weeks. She went from having 300 seizures a month and going into these nonstop seizures a couple of times a week … to a 95% reduction in her seizures and it’s been 11 years, which is pretty incredible,” the mom said. Salazar shared in a Facebook post that her daughter recently celebrated her 31st birthday and is doing well. With her maternal love and hard-earned doctorate, the mom spared no effort in giving her girl a wonderful life ahead.


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