Hunter McGarvey is now "one year seizure free," he says, holding a sparkly poster with the declaration. It's an achievement worth bragging about and enjoying. His mother Nicole calls it a complete 360.
Hunter was born with an underdeveloped cerebellum and other severe brain abnormalities, that caused frequent seizures and developmental delays. But the remedy was drastic. One year ago, doctors at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh removed three lobes of Hunter's brain.
Today his mother says, "if you didn't know Hunter's story and did not know him personally, you would not be able to tell there was anything wrong."
Like many kids his age, much of the time, Hunter would rather be playing a video game. His current favorite features "the Lego Movie." But he doesn't just play video games, he sees himself as an entrepreneur in the industry, someday, owning his own video store, where he'll give away the games.
He'll get a lot of customers that way, probably including his sister, Emily, and cousin, Serenity. The family's pretty close. They'll all celebrate Hunter's victory with a big celebration this weekend.
"Just seeing the difference in him, leading a seizure free life now for a year, is absolutely incredible." Nicole says, "and being able to enjoy the things he wasn't able to enjoy for 10 and a half years."
e did have one very close call this past March. Hunter almost died when fluid built up in the area of his brain where the lobes had been removed.
He's recovered completely after having a shunt placed and now, his mother says, "the skies the limit. We don't hold him back with anything."
Before his surgery, Hunter really struggled in school, but this year he's been on the honor roll every marking period.