Dancer thanks brain surgery for epilepsy cure

By Haley Hernandez - Health Reporter

HOUSTON - Elisabeth Elliott can now memorize moves, point and spin.

"It was much harder to dance when I was having seizures," Elisabeth, 14, said.

Five years ago, her mom was telling Anne Anderson about Elisabeth's seizures, not knowing Anderson is a Texas Children's neurologist. The two were talking at a performance of "The Nutcracker" where their children were dancing together.

The doctor didn't miss her cue to send Elisabeth to Dr. Daniel Curry, a neurosurgeon at Texas Children's Hospital who performed a left temporal lobectomy, which removed the part of Elisabeth's brain that was causing her epilepsy.

"They knew exactly what they needed to take out. It was very clear what was wrong with her but you know you're taking out part of your child's brain," Kimberly Elliott said. "It's very scary but we knew that her life couldn't keep going the way that it was."

With the way it was, her days of dancing were numbered. No ballerina could gracefully leap and twirl while suffering uncontrolled seizures.

But now, Elisabeth is a strong student with the Houston Ballet and regularly performs in "The Nutcracker."

It’s a dream come true but only possible for this tiny dancer because of a real-life turn of events that led her to Texas Children's Hospital.

"I've never had another [seizure] since," Elisabeth smiled.

"They are completely stopped," Kimberly Elliott said. "She's off of all of her medications and they are still stopped."

Elisabeth says she thinks she is cured of her epilepsy.

She will perform in "The Nutcracker" again Wednesday and Christmas Eve.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2