Until November, Savannah Curtis of Brooksville was a typical 9-year-old who excelled in school, enjoyed playing outdoors and kept close watch on her younger brother who has severe autism.
“She was the healthy one,” said her mother, Terri Fava.
In early November, Fava received a call from someone at her daughter’s school who said Savannah had been found huddled on the floor of the computer lab, unresponsive.
Fava rushed to the school and took Savannah to an emergency room, where a CT scan was ordered. The scan came back normal, showing no damage to Savannah’s brain.
Savannah had no known health issues, Fava said. The seizure was preceded with no visible warnings. She and her husband were left dumbfounded.
Then, on a return from Shands Hospital in Gainesville where their son, Nathaniel, had gone for dental work, the family experienced what Terri described as frightening. The family was at a Chuck E. Cheese in Ocala, Fava said. She was catering to Nathanial, who is nonverbal and requires constant supervision.
Her husband was taking Savannah around the arcade, playing games. “He came around the corner carrying Savannah in his arms,” Fava remembered. She described her feelings of shock when she saw Savannah’s head was slumped.
Savannah had an extreme seizure while playing Mario Kart, Fava said.
Savannah was rushed to an emergency room then scheduled an EEG at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The results were “off the charts, ” Fava said. Later an MRI uncovered an overexposed area on her brain that needed to be retested in six months.
Savannah was diagnosed with epilepsy and prescribed medications to offset the seizures.