Exclusive: Woman suffering with daily epileptic seizures will be the first to be operated on by specialist robot in Sheffield

Brave Leanne Hall hasn't had much of a life.

Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 2:18 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:01 am
Leanne Hall and the ROSA surgical robot right

Diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of six, she had two huge operations by the time she was seven.

Aged eight, she had been on 12 different drugs and traveled to lots of different places in the UK for treatment.

Further complications arose when Leanne was told her brain had 'changed' and her epilepsy worsen to such severity, it meant daily seizures which could prove extremely dangerous.

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This means Leanne, now 30, can't cook on her own, go outside without assistance or live independently due to her seizures which can happen at any point during the day.

But thanks to amazing technology and a fantastic team at Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital - a specialist operation aided by robotics could change Leanne's life forever and end her seizures which has crippled her time as an adult.

Leanne, from Hull said: "Over the years I've tried more drugs and more treatment but it's just not worked. I've gone further afield and when I came to Sheffield in 2014, that's when my life was turned around."

The 30-year-old will be the first person in the UK to be operated by ROSA - a robot which can accurately and safely pinpoint areas in the brain that require treatment. The operation takes place in a couple of weeks.

Contemplating life without her seizures, Leanne said: "It's surreal to think in a couple of months I could be seizure free if it did work where it would really change my life because I haven't had much of a life to begin with.

When I was little growing up,I haven't had much of an education because I was pulled out of school so often because it was too risky to go so I had to be home tutored.

"I've not had much of a life because I was last working when I was 18 and I've never been able to hold down a job - people won't employ me with the condition that I have and back then, it was a lot harder.

"I'm not allowed to go out on my own, I'm not allowed to cook, anything like that It's just too risky because of my seizures it's that unpredictable and it's really dangerous."

Leanne explained the impact her debilitating condition has on her family.

"It's affected all of the family massively. This has taken over all of our lives," she said.

"When I was little, I wasn't allowed to play out much so my brother and sister wasn't allowed either because my mum felt so bad letting them play and not me.

"It's been a thing that my family has had to learn to grow up with but we've all supported each other and been there for each other and that's what it's all about.

If everything goes well, the amazing team in Sheffield with the help of ROSA will have given Leanne her life back and start over.

"I suppose the first thing is to learn to live independently on my own and to just get my life back because I've never gone out of the house on my own and I think I may have to have some sort of counselling," she said.

"I might sound silly to a lot of people but I've never had that experience before and for me, it's a life changing prospect.

"I want to get back to college and even maybe university, get a job and move out one day and things like that.

"I can't stress that enough. I'm really lucky to have the chance to have this life changing surgery and if I can have that chance then others should as well.

"They are amazing at Sheffield - I can't say how grateful I am and how fantastic everyone is how coming here has changed my life.

"The charity Neurocare, raising money for the robot they're so supportive and the equipment they provide for the hospital would be life-changing for everyone.

"Any support that people could give would be amazing - even one or two pounds it's so important this stays in the UK because it would change people's lives.

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