Spirit Award: Justin

Ten years ago, our life was changed in a blink of an eye. Justin was only six months old when he had his first seizure. My husband and I rushed him to the hospital to figure out what had happened to our infant son who was sleeping so peacefully only minutes before a seizure struck. While being transferred to a second hospital, he suffered a second seizure. At the time, my husband and I were terrified for our son’s life, we thought the worst and were uncertain if the seizures might prove fatal or not. After Justin was released from the hospital with no diagnosis, we saw several doctors, none whom were able to give us a prognosis. Many said, “It was an isolated incident and Justin will grow out of it.”Justin As parents, we were eager to find out why those seizures had happened to our son and we needed reassurance that our son was going to be alright. The seizures gave us a reason to sleep with one eye open each night, terrified that a seizure would come unexpectedly.

Eight years later, on December 15th, 2012, Justin woke up in the middle of the night extremely disoriented, and my husband felt that something was not right. A few minutes later, Justin began to have another seizure, one of the worst he’s ever had. He seized for about five minutes and lost consciousness for about fifteen minutes. We needed help immediately and couldn’t bear to experience another nerve-wrecking fright like we had in the past. We finally found a neurologist who was kind and caring and made Justin her top priority. One month later Justin was diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy, or Grand mal seizures.

During the first few months on his medication Justin had minor issues adjusting to the medicine, such as feeling sleepy and occasional crankiness—minor side effects we knew he’d overcome. I’m delighted to say that Justin has been seizure-free for ten months, and we couldn’t be more relieved. The medication has done wonders for our son. Justin has been doing so well in school and lives a happy and normal life just like any ten year old should. He is well aware of his daily routine, taking his medication twice a day to prevent seizures from coming unexpectedly. My son’s story has proven to us that having epilepsy is a serious disorder, but if treated properly children and adults can live normal and happy lives.