WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 06, 2011, 09:39 AM

4-year-old Reynolds Girl With Neurological Disease Doing Better After Surgery

Reynolds, ND (WDAZ TV) - A 4-year-old Reynolds girl has been through a lot at her young age. After being diagnosed with Chiari malformation and undergoing brain surgery, she's feeling much better.

By: Lezlie Johnson, WDAZ

Addison and Avery Lessard are pretty energetic 4-year-old twins. They do everything together, but just 6 months ago, Addison couldn't keep up.

"There's nothing we could really do, children's Tylenol, none of that would really work. We went in, they checked her over and they scheduled an MRI," Addison's dad Jeremy Lessard said.

Addison had headaches that would make her sick and cause her to lose her appetite. After a series of tests, the family found out she had Chiari malformation.

"Her skull was too small for her brain in the back of her head so her brain was laying on her spinal cord. She'd get spinal migraines is what they call it," Jeremy said.

The Lessard's traveled to the Children's Hospital in St. Paul. Addison had surgery and the family stayed for six days, a stay that can be quite costly.

Almost 400 people came to the KC Hall in Reynolds, ND, Sunday to show their support and raise money for the Lessard family. The benefit raised almost $11,000 to help with medical expenses.

"The community, just the outpouring was unbelievable. We had people donate baked goods that my girls ride the school bus withand they made donations and the response was overwhelming," Addison's mom Amanda Lessard said.

It's been more than a month since Addison's surgery. She complains about headaches once in a while, but overall, the surgery was a success and she is back to being a regular 4-year-old.

"She has told us many times how she's very grateful her doctors helped her head not hurt anymore," Amanda said.

The Lessard's couldn't be happier, seeing their little girl up and running around or looking at pictures from a time in the hospital that's now in the past.

If you would like to donate to the family, you can make checks payable to The North Dakota Association for the Disabled in care of Addison Lessard

and sent to Deb Lazur, 13, 17th St. NE, Reynolds, ND 58275.

Mayo Clinic says Chiari malformation occurs in 1 of 2,000 people, the number of people who show symptoms is much less.