We don’t know if we could handle 350 seizures a month.
How did he live like this for so long?
According to ABC News
Chris Murto’s silent seizures started when he was a baby, and his doctors thought he was just having night terrors.
“He rarely slept more than two hours at a time,” mom Maura Murto, 59, of Sedona, Ariz., said. “He would wake up and look startled, then begin to cry.”
By the time he was in kindergarten, he would get tense and stiffen up and look terrified, but it always happened when he was asleep.
“His face would grimace and a slight tear would roll down his cheek,” she said.
Doctors diagnosed a rare type of benign tumor — a hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) — that would eventually cause up to 350 seizures a month by the time he was 13, and put him on medication, sometimes 25 pills a day.
But today, at 29, Murto is seizure-free, thanks to Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, the first in the country to treat HH tumors. The surgeons used new, minimally invasive laser-surgery techniques to burn out the tumor in his brain.
These gelastic seizures involved a sudden burst of energy, usually in the form of laughing or crying and can be uncomfortable. They can damage the brain and lead to progressive cognitive impairment.
“When someone said seizures, I thought grand mal with someone on the floor,” his mother said. “Innocently, I didn’t know what we were dealing with.”
Beginning when he was 5, Chris’ parents logged his daily seizures on a chart, but they began to worsen as he grew older, disrupting his thought process and ability to learn. His IQ even dropped to 79 from 120 and his parents were told he would never live independently.
“He had tremors in his hand, his eyes rolled up in his head so you could see the whites, he slept a lot and his drool was out of control,” Maura Murto said. “He was losing ground mentally and physically.”
Chris Murto had thousands of seizures every year by the time he was 13.
“It’s impossible to explain the amount of pain I was experiencing,” said Chris, who’s father, Bill, co-founded the the Compaq Computer Corp.
Glad to see he is cured and doing well.