YOUR LIFE YOUR HEALTH

New brain implant technology is life changing for Epilepsy patient

Mar 22, 2018, 6:01 PM | Updated: Mar 27, 2018, 1:00 am

SALT LAKE CITY —  With one glance, you would never guess what Aimee Buckley, 25, of Pocatello, Idaho, has been through.

She was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 8 years old. Seizures became her routine.

“I’ve lived with them almost my entire life,” Buckley said.

Her father, Lynn Buckley, said it was tough.

“There literally was one year where she hardly got out of bed,” he said.

Buckley had to make many sacrifices. She could no longer drive and had to rely on friends for rides instead.

“At my age, most people take that for granted,” Aimee Buckley said. But it was her reality.

Her father said she would always get out of bed and go to school even if she did not feel well. Aimee Buckley seized many times during class at school, but she said it was “no big deal.” She would usually stay at school afterward.

“It was hopeless,” Lynn Buckley said. “People who see people having a seizure — there’s nothing you can do.”

She tried every treatment her doctors offered, but nothing worked. Unfortunately, the medications she tried made her sick.

At age 14, Aimee Buckley underwent resective brain surgery removing part of her brain tissue, but to no avail. Finally, Intermoutain Healthcare’s Dr. Tawnya Constantino at Intermountain Medical Center offered Aimee Buckley a new treatment called RNS, or responsive neurostimulation. In 2016, a neurosurgeon implanted the device into her skull.

“When the device detects that seizures are starting, it actually administers a stimulation to that electrode in an attempt to stop the seizures from developing,” Constantino said.

Constantino said the NeuroPace option seemed like a good fit for Buckley because Dr. Constantino had already identified the general location causing Buckley’s seizures, making it easier to prevent further seizure activity.

“They don’t feel it going off. They don’t hardly know it’s there,” Constantino said.

Since then, Buckley is proud to say she has almost been seizure free. She had a couple minor seizures she was not aware of but were recorded on her device.

“They kept telling us that someday there would be a cure — something might work,” Lynn Buckley said.

Today, Aimee Buckley is able to drive again and works as an elementary school teaching aide.

“To be able to have a treatment option that can give people their life back —that’s the best case scenario for as an epileptologist,” Constantino said.

“People have noticed a change in me,” Aimee Buckley said. “All my friends are saying I look so much better.”

Her friends tell her they don’t know how she stays so positive. Lynn Buckley also said she looks happier and is more mentally awake.

Aimee Buckley will likely need to replace the battery pack on her RNS device through the prior incision in her head in a few years. In the meantime, she hopes to start college and land a full-time job. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

Linda Campbell showing the Breast MRI where doctors found her breast cancer....

Emma Benson

Breast MRI is helping detect cancer in high-risk patients

Intermountain Health is working on new advances in breast cancer screening by transforming early detection.

3 days ago

The ABCs of checking for melanoma....

Emma Benson

Sun safety reminders for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and Utah has one of the highest rates of melanoma, about twice the national average.

10 days ago

Dr. Adam Balls out on a run with his daughter as part of his self-care routine....

Emma Benson

400 days and counting: ER doc’s exercise streak improves his mental health

A Utah doctor is encouraging everyone to join him in getting into an exercise routine to help with their mental health.

18 days ago

A family photo of the Grover family, who has three kids with autism....

Emma Benson

Utah family shares their experience with three boys who have autism

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and a Utah family wants share their personal experience of learning to adapt and grow with the disorder.

25 days ago

Marc Dunbabin, got his second chance at life with his family thanks to a bone marrow donor....

Emma Benson

Utah dad gets second chance at life thanks to bone marrow transplant

Utah dad hopes to meet the person who gave him second chance at life thanks to a bone marrow transplant.

1 month ago

Walking is one way to exercise and manage stress....

Emma Benson

Get moving: How to manage stress with exercise 

If not managed well, stress can cause serious health problems. So, how can you exercise to manage stress?

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

New brain implant technology is life changing for Epilepsy patient