Diagnosis Recap: A Second Pair Of Eyes

By Daniel Hart
Published: August 16, 2019
Netflix documentary series Diagnosis Season 1, Episode 2 - Second Opinions - Rasmussen's encephalitis


Diagnosis Season 1, Episode 2, “Second Opinions” is everyone parent’s nightmare, as it looks into a young child with a terrible brain disease.

This recap of Netflix documentary series Diagnosis Season 1, Episode 2, “Second Opinions”, which concerns Rasmussen’s encephalitis, contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

Episode 2, “Second Opinions” follows 7-year old Sadie Gonzalez who experiences frequent seizures, which she is self-aware of, due to a terrible brain disease. The first opinion is that Sadie suffers from Rasmussen’s encephalitis, which is a rare inflammatory neurological disease; it impacts motor skills, speech and brings weaknesses to one side of the body.

“Second Opinions” gives Sadie’s parents a decision to make. The recommended surgery is to split the brain to stop the condition from getting worse, but the long term effects are unfavorable.

As a parent, I cannot imagine the stress and upset that these parents must be going through. Their daughter is optimistic and bubbly, and even when the seizures are happening, she has this determination to stay positive, and delight her parents with her sense of humor. Episode 2 is every parent’s nightmare; it’s not surprising that her parents decided to seek a second opinion.

While most of “Second Opinions” is about retrieving the second pair of eyes, the main debate is whether Sadie truly has Rasmussen’s encephalitis or if she has another condition. Neurological Lyme disease is flagged up constantly, and she is tested positive for that disease. However, the treatment has no effect.

Eventually, it is concluded that Sadie does have Rasmussen’s encephalitis, but another doctor believes her brain is healthy enough to implement a new method that brings prevention. Sadie’s parents agree to an alternative surgery, where they insert electrodes in certain parts of the brain that will reduce the seizures.

Diagnosis Season 1, Episode 2, “Second Opinions” ends with Sadie making progress since her surgery, but more progress is expected in a further six months.

You can read the recap of the third episode by clicking these words.

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