CARY -- Swinging, sliding and playing with friends are simple joys for young kids. But last year, 4-year-old Spike Parrent of Cary could not enjoy life's small pleasures. He often experienced more than four dozen seizures a day.
"There were nights in the hospital where you didn't think he would get out," said Spike's father Tom Parrent, who spent most of the year, along with his wife JoJo, by Spike's hospital bedside. "There were times last year when he was at his sickest that I don't think either one of us or the doctors thought he was going to make it at all."
Doctors said he suffered from one of the worst pediatric epilepsy cases in the country.
"Even if he survived, what would life be like for him having 50, 75 seizures a day," said Parrent.
After trying nine medications to no avail, Tom and JoJo took Spike to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Doctors observed him experience over 120 seizures in just a few days and measured the electrical activity of his brain.
"His seizures were truly devastating his life," said Dr. Elaine Wyllie, the Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Neurology Center director. "He was going backwards developmentally. He was not only not making the progress he should make, but he was even losing abilities."
Doctors pinpointed the seizures developed in the right, frontal lobe of Spike's brain.
"We thought there might be one spot where the formation was not completely normal," said Wyllie.
Surgeons believed removing that area would reduce his seizures. It's a risk his parents took in November 2011, hoping to save Spike's life.
"Sending your kid in for brain surgery, the only thing worse than that would've been that he continued to have 100 a day," said Parrent.
Surgery worked better than imagined. Spike is now 5 years old and hasn't had one seizure since. He is now healthy and active, just like other young children his age.
"Spike will never remember and that we will never forget," said Parrent who embraces every moment with his son.