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(INDIANAPOLIS) – A nine-month-old girl from Fort Wayne is recovering after surgeons removed half her brain.

From the day she was born last December, Zahra Abdul suffered seizure after seizure, as many as 10 an hour, so bad she couldn’t even eat. Doctors at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health still aren’t sure whether she had a form of epilepsy or something else, but M-R-I’s revealed the right half of her brain just didn’t function.

So they cut it out.

Zhara’s father Chuahdary says the seizures have stopped completely since the surgery. As soon as she came out of anesthesia, he says, Zahra was moving her eyes and feet.

Pediatric neurosurgeon Jeffrey Raskin says because Zahra is so young and her brain is still developing, the left side of her brain will mostly take over for the missing right. He says Zahra will have some weakness in her left hand and a limited visual field, and will probably wear braces on her ankles to help her walk. But he says she has a good chance of speaking normally when she starts to talk, and should otherwise be able to lead a normal life.

Raskin says  a hemispherectomy is relatively rare but far from unprecedented — he says large neurosurgery centers might average one a month.  But Zahra’s 14-hour surgery was the first in Indiana in 15 years.

Zahra Abdul (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)