For 11-year-old Kinley, procedure brings new hope

9:24 am | October 9, 2012

By Nick ShepherdStar Correspondent

A rare form of epilepsy could cost an 11-year-old Elizabethton boy his life, but a medical procedure he received recently in Memphis could vastly improve his outlook.

Photo Contributed
Dave Burleson and Kinley Whitehead prepare for the flight to Memphis, where Kinley received treatment for seizures. Burleson helped organize fundraisers for Kinley’s medical expenses.

Kinley Whitehead suffers from Lennox- Gastaut syndrome, which causes Kinley to experience up to 200 to 300 seizures a day, and those close to him worry one of those seizures could be his last.

“When Kinley has a seizure, he cries and screams that he’s in pain,” said Pheba Vandekrol, co-owner of Mallard Cove Marina and an advocate for Kinley who has been trying to raise money for his treatment. “It makes you want to cry.”

But doctors are hoping to relieve some of Kinley’s pain. They hope the procedure will reflect or absorb most of his seizures and improve his quality of life.

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