How is it that playing peek-a-boo can put a little girl's life at risk?
Whenever I hear about kids with illnesses, I take a moment to thank God for giving me two very healthy children. Today, I did just that after reading about a little girl called Abi who suffers from a rare condition known as Reflex Anoxic Seizures. Basically, little Abi can't experience extreme emotions--like surprise, pain or excitement--because she'll pass out, and her heart and her breathing will stop, putting her at risk of brain damage.
In other words, her parents have to do everything in their power to make sure Abi avoids the unexpected. Can you imagine having to do that with a 2-year-old? I can't because I have a toddler and surprise, pain and excitement pretty much seem to be the range of emotions he goes through on a daily basis!
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"Playing something like peek-a-boo is out of the question," her mother, Cherish Ayres told the Daily Mail. "Her cousin can just brush past her or the door will bang and she will have a seizure."
Looking at Abi, you wouldn't be able to tell there's anything wrong with her. In fact, it took doctors many months and many tests to finally figure out that she suffered from Reflex Anoxic Seizures. After Abi's first seizure at 10 months old, doctors told Ayres that she was most likely just holding her breath deliberately, which a lot of babies do and it's not necessarily harmful. But it kept on happening and Ayres was desperate to find an answer and she did what most of us do: Google it.
Although Abi is under constant supervision, her mom says they still try to keep things as normal as possible and that she's just like any other little girl. While there's no known cure for the condition, the good news is that the seizures tend to lessen as children get older and eventually they outgrow it.
I know it makes no sense to try to figure out why so many children have to suffer through so much while others are lucky to be completely healthy, but I still always ask myself that question. And then, I thank God one more time for my own very healthy kids...
Had you ever heard about this condition?
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