RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – There is hope for a Rio Rancho teen and her family after undergoing a first-of-its-kind medical procedure here in New Mexico. “It gives me hope. I just know it’s going to be a process for her and for us,” says Nizhoni Begay. “Honestly, I thought we’d have to leave NM to go get it. So I’m very glad that Dr. Cardon is really doing this.”

Begay has spent her life trying to control her epileptic seizures with medication, some of which have had unpleasant side effects. But earlier this year, she underwent a series of procedures at University of New Mexico Hospital to implant a device in her brain capable of detecting seizures and interrupting them with an electrical current.

“For Nizhoni, I’m very optimistic that having a targeted inter-cranial response is going to be the most effective path forward for her,” says pediatric neurologist, Dr. Aaron Cardon. “I am very hopeful that a reduced seizure burden will lead to a much better quality of life for her in the near future.”

While these responsive neuro-simulation devices are not new, this is the first time one has been implanted in a pediatric patient in New Mexico. Doctors are keeping an eye on Nizhoni to determine if the current will need to be adjusted for maximum effectiveness.

Nizhoni’s mother is also struggling with health issues. She will be undergoing surgery and is facing issues with thyroid cancer, according to someone familiar with the family. Unable to take paid leave from her job after caring for her daughter, the family is accepting donations to keep them afloat. The GoFundMe can be located by clicking here.