Eight-year-old Gannon Dial, a student at Sierra View Elementary School, has suffered from epilepsy since he was two and has anywhere from 20 to 30 seizures a day. After the failure of numerous medications and other modalities to control his seizures, he has been scheduled to undergo brain surgery on May 4.
His parents Mike and Candice Dial said that doctors at UC San Francisco Medical Center told them that without the surgery, Gannon would eventually go into cardiac arrest.
“Nothing controls (the seizures),” Mrs. Dial said, adding that her son also has a feeding tube because he’s had significant weight loss due to the seizures.
The Dial family is holding a fundraising two-day car wash from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at the Oakdale Kmart parking lot to help offset costs associated with Gannon’s medical condition.
Mr. Dial said that his wife is a full time caretaker for their son and that expenses associated with his medical care has placed a large financial burden on the family. While Gannon has been on Social Security for several years, financial support from the state only covers a small portion of expenses for gas and lodging for when Gannon has medical appointments in the Bay Area. Mr. Dial added that he understands that the state is doing the best it can with support but noted that there have been times when the family has slept in the car or in the waiting room during Gannon’s overnight stays, as only one parent is allowed to stay in his hospital room with him.
Mrs. Dial said that the surgery will consist of removing Gannon’s right temporal lobe and disconnecting the entire right side of his brain. The surgery will eliminate the functioning of his left arm, but with extensive physical therapy, he will eventually be able to use his left leg.
“This is a tough thing for the family,” Mr. Dial said. “The six years of figuring out what was going on (with Gannon)... It’s a tough decision.”
He added that Gannon will be in the Intensive Care Unit for six to eight days following his surgery at UCSF and then will have in-patient physical therapy for anywhere from four weeks to three months. Gannon is also autistic, which presents additional challenges for his physical therapy.
The Dials have four children. Gannon is the youngest, and his older siblings are 10, 12, and 15.
An account has been set up at Wells Fargo in Oakdale in Gannon Dial’s name where contributions can be made; the account number is #6759761726.