Four-Year-Old Girl Beats Compound Medical Conditions

Friday, December 2nd 2011, 10:59 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It was the slightest hint that something was wrong. As elves were taking her picture with Santa one side of the little girl's face wasn't quite smiling as brightly.

Now parents and doctors are calling her a Christmas miracle.

Little Sage Hanrahan appears to be a typical four-year-old little girl. But just days ago, she lay in a hospital bed with doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with her.

"I noticed while I was sitting on Santa's lap that her mouth was kind of droopy," said Sage's mom Nina.

That's when Nina rushed Sage to the doctor fearing her daughter was having stroke.

Her mom knew the symptoms because little Sage had been here before. Sage was born with problems with her heart.

"She's had one open heart surgery and three heart catheterizations, total," said Kumar Ponniah, a pediatric cardiologist with OU Children's Hospital and Sage's doctor.

During one of those procedures, Sage also had a stroke.

"It's terrifying.  You have this child that has this really severe medical condition and you just compounded it," said Nina. "As an infant you don't know if she is going to walk, to talk."

Yet, amazingly, Sage made a full recovery.

"She had come out on top of everything that has at her," said Dr. Ponniah.

That was until that crooked smile alerted her mother that once again something wasn't right.

After a series of tests, doctors at OU Medical Center determined that Sage hadn't had a stroke after all, but a seizure that can be controlled by medication.

And, once again, little Sage defied the odds and her parents' fears.

"It's amazing to me," said Nina.

Doctors believe the seizures were caused by brain scarring from that first stroke.