Terra Jole and her husband Joe have been working overtime and worrying just as much over the past few years as Penny has been dealing with some major health issues. The Little Women: LA star’s daughter was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition which she talked about recently on the Share Your Shine podcast.
In this clip from Terra’s appearance, Melissa Eckman asked Terra to explain exactly hydrocephalus, the reason that Terra’s daughter Penny has needed four brain surgeries before she turned three years old, to their listeners.
Working to bring awareness and also to update Little Women: LA fans about what the family has been up to, Terra Jole did just that.
Here’s what Terra had to say in this excerpt from the Share Your Shine podcast:
“Erica and I… we just want to check in on how your daughter Penny is doing,” Melissa said before asking Terra to share what they have been dealing with. “You know, for our listeners who don’t know, if you could maybe explain what Hydrocephalous is and how it has affected your family.”
“Hydrocephalous is a type of water on the brain basically is how you would describe it for an everyday type of person,” Terra explained.
“The most common brain surgery in children… over a million Americans live with hydrocephalous. It is very common if you have dementia or later on in life it becomes extremely common. But again it is the most common type of brain surgery in children.”
“We found out Penelope had hydrocephalous when she was still in the womb during my last trimester and for the first three years we had a decompression surgery thinking we wouldn’t need anything else,” Terra continued.
“Then the decompression surgery kind of opened up her neck in a way so she a stronger circulation and now we have actually installed what they call a VP shunt, which is a programable shunt and this BP shunt has really been a life-changer for us and in positive ways.”
Of course, there is always a downside and Terra went on to explain the sacrifices they have to make in order for Penny’s VP shunt to work properly. Ultimately, it sounds like those sacrifices are worth it, as Penny has already started to show progress since having the latest procedure.
“Sadly, this something she will have to live with the rest of her life. She cannot be around cell phones, it’s a magnetic machine and she cannot be around iPads, so there are lots of downfalls to having this shunt but at the same time it’s now made her talk, it’s now made her walk, it’s now made her be able to actually live a normal life. This did not come about until she was the age of four so I feel like while it’s been a cure it’s also been a blessing and we are looking forward to a really strong future.”
The initial surgery wasn’t the only work that needed to be done. Terra explained that Penny had two more operations afterward in order to get the PV Shunt working correctly.
“We had two revisions from her surgery and we are hoping for no more. Within the first two years of every shunt 50 percent of them fail and to where you are leading to another brain surgery and that is exactly what happened to us after we had the first shunt installed but she’s doing great now, which doesn’t mean she won’t have to have a revision in the future. It just means as of right now she’s in good hands.”
It sounds like things are going well right now for Terra Jole and her daughter Penny. Hopefully, she won’t have to have another revision and can continue to hit developmental milestones that Terra can relay back to Little Women: LA fans who have been worried about Penny as well.
Tune in to the Share Your Shine Podcast to hear more of Terra’s interview on Instagram and on the Share Your Shine website.