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Kenyan family travels to Indianapolis for life-changing surgery at Riley Hospital for Children

Mao Oroko
Posted at 6:04 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 20:40:24-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A Kenyan family’s quest to cure their son’s epilepsy brought them to Indianapolis.

Mao Oroko, 10, traveled with his father for a potentially life-changing surgery at Riley Hospital for Children.

Mao was having seizures and his father said there are not enough medical resources in Kenya to keep up with his condition. He said doctors there told him Mao would have to be on medication the rest of his life.

That's why they came to Riley Hospital for Children. Surgeons were able to preform a minimally invasive laser surgery that destroys small parts of the brain tissue responsible for those seizures, while leaving other parts untouched.

Doctors said it went well and Mao is now going through therapy.

“I cannot express how delighted I am about what just happened here at Riley Hospital because we were looking at a lifetime of medication… and a lifetime of anxiety because when he goes to school we are always not sure if he’s going to have a seizure at school or not and that can be quite stigmatizing,” Obed Machogu Oroko, Mao’s father said.

“Seizures are stigmatizing and debilitating and I think that continued epilepsy is one of the worst conditions you can have. Now if he is seizure free, which we expect he should be, he would be able to live a completely normal and independent life so it is completely life-changing,” Riley Hospital for Children Neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Raskin said.

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