Emilee Evangeline Holloway may appear to be a healthy baby, but the 10-month-old daughter of Jennifer and Brad "Teddy Bear" Holloway of Athens was recently diagnosed with epileptic seizures or infantile spasms, which has caused developmental delays.
The first step of treatment was for Emilee to be placed on oral medications which entailed a five-day stay at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe for observation. This treatment decreased the seizures but did not stop them as the doctors had hoped. During her first stay at the hospital, she underwent several tests, including an MRI, EEG and multiple blood tests.
After little improvement on the oral medication, doctors were ready to approach a new line of treatment. This included another six-day stay at the hospital and twice-daily injections of ACTH, which costs $25,000 per vial, with one vial lasting only five days. If no major side effects occur, the injections will be given for a total of six weeks.
Emilee will be required to travel to her pediatrician in Shreveport every other day to check her vital signs and take a weekly blood test. She will also travel to her neurologist in Monroe once a week.
There is absolutely no guarantee of these injections being effective, although hope for improvement is great. At this time, there is no confirmation that Emilee's insurance will pay for the treatment.
When the six-week treatment is complete, Emilee will undergo another EEG, a chromosome test and will be seeing three different therapists, speech, physical and occupational.
Emilee is the granddaughter of Jerry and Pam Hightower of Homer and Larry and Debby Wallace of Athens. Debby is a former employee of Minden Family Care Center, where she worked as a nurse for 15 years. Emilee's father, Brad, is a former employee of Reynolds Industrial Contractors, Inc. in Minden.
Due to the seriousness of Emilee's illness, Brad has taken a six-week medical leave of absence with no income to help Jennifer care for their daughter.
An account has been set up to help the family offset the numerous medical costs of Emilee's treatment. The account is in the name of Emilee Holloway at Gibsland Bank and Trust.
A benefit for Emilee is also being planned for October 22 at Mt. Olive Christian School in Athens. The benefit will feature a concert, bake sale and silent auction.
Barbecue plates will be available and raffle tickets are also being sold for several large items. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Please plan to attend and help this family. If you cannot attend, please pray for the success of the benefit and for Emilee's healing.
For more information, contact April Smith at 245-0080.