In Canada alone, an average of 42 people a day learn that they have Epilepsy and over 50 million people worldwide suffer from the disorder. I can say that I Beat Epilepsy. It was 6:30 AM on December 03, 2002. I remember being wheeled down the hall at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada by the porter, with the silence it felt like we were the only ones in the building. You could hear a pin drop.
Left Selective Amygdalohippocampectomy is the surgery I was about to undergo; the left parahippocampal gyrus, left amygdala and left hippo-campus were removed; structures within the left temporal lobe. I had 6 seizures 2 days before the surgery and I have not had one since. I had lived with epilepsy for almost 20 years of my life and that was about to change. My seizures were so bad, that when I was three years old that my whole right side became paralyzed, I was like that for a year before slowly coming out of it. Doctors told my parents that I would never be right-handed, have speech impediments etc. Well, I proved them wrong…. I am right handed and speak extremely well, just ask my teachers!
Since my surgery, I have accomplished some amazing tasks in my life. I have written two books, was asked to be a Canadian Advocate for Epilepsy in 2012 and have been a motivational speaker for over 10 years. Helping others is my passion, my calling. I want to help educate others internationally and locally from a patient’s point of view, help them understand that they are not alone when it comes to living with epilepsy.
Speaking at medical conferences has been my goal for the past few years, I feel that letting medical professionals know what surgery was like, from a patients perspective, is very important and helpful to them in several aspects. I have spoken at 4 medical conferences in the past 5 years; Baltimore, USA – Chicago, USA – Madrid, Spain and this past November I was a Keynote Speaker at the Epilepsy and Brain Disorder Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. My next scheduled speech is in Auckland, New Zealand this coming August. I am grateful that my story wants to be heard, that I am hopefully making a difference in the utmost positive way.
“If this device was available back when I was having seizures I would have definitely wanted to tried it.”
Epilepsy is a disorder that I feel needs to be talked about and I am the person to do just that. My website is www.ibeatepilepsy.com
I love connecting with others that deal with Epilepsy in their lives, or those that have beat it like myself. We need to remember that support and having others understand our condition is huge…. we are people too, we just have a few glitches here and there. If this device was available back when I was having seizures I would have definitely wanted to tried it.