Woman regains independence after brain mapping surgery at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville

A brain mapping surgery at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville has helped a woman regain her independence.

For more than two decades, Peggy Cardona struggled with seizures.

“I got to where I was having anywhere from seven to 11 seizures a month,” Cardona said.

She said the seizures affected her ability to process words and formulate sentences.

She saw several doctors and tried almost every medication available, but nothing worked.

Cardona finally found the help she needed when she went to Dr. William Tatum at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

She said her doctors did an MRI and identified a lesion in an area that could affect her speech.

She had surgery in December that involved brain mapping; she was awake the entire time.

Doctors exposed the area of her brain where the lesion was and asked her to read.

They stimulated areas with a probe near the lesion, and if she stopped talking they knew that area of the brain was still working.

“In that way, we were able to map out safe areas from areas that cannot be removed,” Tatum said.

Then, they removed the areas near the lesion that weren’t working.

Cardona said she hasn’t had a seizure since February and has regained her speech and independence.

“Before I had no hope. I had nowhere to go," she said. "I was depressed, confused and lost. And now I can see."