Teen gets his life back after epilepsy surgery - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Teen gets his life back after epilepsy surgery

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SEATTLE, WA - 3 and a half million Americans suffer from epilepsy, a disorder of the brain that causes seizures ranging from feeling disoriented to losing consciousness. 

There are more than 30 different types of medication available to patients with epilepsy, but for about a third of those who suffer from seizures, medication isn't always effective.

Casey Schorr didn't always have epilepsy, his seizures started when he was 12.

"It kept getting worse and worse, even on the medications, which is why they started doubling them and tripling them," said Melani Schorr, Casey's mother.

"It's a scary situation, you could be anywhere after a seizure," said Casey. "It's a scary thing to deal with and I wouldn't wish what I've gone through on anybody."

Now 18 and out of high school, Casey wants to stop his seizures, so he went from Spokane to UW Medicine in Seattle for brain surgery. 

He tells his surgeon what he hopes for in the future.

"To be able to go to college and drive my own car and everything ....and be able to get on with my life," Casey said.

Casey's seizures are coming from deep within his brain. To try and stop them, his surgeon will perform an anterior temporal lobectomy.

"Basically, it is surgery where we take out a part of the temporal lobe, and some structures deep to the temporal lobe called the hippocampus," said Dr. Andrew L. Ko with the UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute.

Since Casey is right-handed and his surgery is on the right side of his brain - the non-dominant side - his language and memory are unlikely to be affected.

"When we see patients like this with this kind of surgery, we're hoping to see them one and two years out without any more seizures," said Dr. Ko.

Now six months later, Casey has his life back. He has a driver's license and is snowboarding again.