AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - When Ethan Arthur started having seizures at three, his grandma hoped that one of the many epilepsy drugs on the market would work.
Unfortunately, they didn't, but thanks to a special diet, Ethan has become nearly seizure free for the first time in his life.
Cook Children's Hospital, based out of Fort Worth, has six specialty clinics throughout Texas, including a location in Amarillo, where doctors from Fort Worth travel to see the children.
"Between 40 and 50 live patients where the physician is actually here," said Practice Administrator at Cook Children's Hospital Jodi Roberson. "Then we see about 20 visit per month. That's where the physicians are in Fort Worth and the patients are here."
Ethan, whose epilepsy was previously uncontrollable, started seeing Dr. Scott Perry in May of this year. Instead of trying more medication, Dr. Scott Perry decided to take Ethan's treatment a different route.
He started him on a ketogenic diet over the summer.
"Honestly he took to it very well actually. A lot of patients, it's not a miracle cure, it's not going to cure every single person. But like certain medicines,you might just find a treatment that works just right but he's a kid that within weeks of being on it," said Dr. Perry. "It's a remarkable difference he went from having a ton of seizures everyday, to having no seizures every day, it's a great response."
Ethan, who is fed by a G-button, follows the diet through the keto-cal formula, which places proteins and carbohydrates in a four-to-one ratio. Ethan's home health nurse, Debra Fraher, who was skeptical, says she has seen positive changes in his attention span, controlled movements and visual field.
"I am shocked, they proved me wrong," said Fraher. "They have proved me wrong and there is hope with this diet,."
Dr. Perry, who flies out to the Amarillo location once a month, has had previous success with this diet when used on the most difficult of epilepsy cases.
"With Ethan, the likelihood that his epilepsy is going to just completely go away is very small so as long he's tolerating the diet and not having any adverse affects from it, I'll probably keep him on it as long as he needs to be," says Dr. Perry.
Ethan's family says after three months, his seizures are about 97 percent gone, and the ones that do come are brief and not as severe.