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A Chance Encounter Leads to Seizure Surgery

Hastings, Jeff

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Wenatchee, Wash.

I just wanted you to know how you have blessed one young man's life.

My 22-year-old stepson has been having seizures for the past 17 years. We have tried everything, but nothing worked. Antiseizure meds, ketogenic diet, Vagus Nerve Stimulator — all good treatments, but Chris was past that. Surgery was never an option we considered. It would amount to a lobotomy! As he got older, his seizures got worse and they occurred farther and farther from home. It got to be dangerous.

Then, by coincidence, I stumbled upon a copy of your magazine and read an article headlined “Surgery May Stop the Seizures If the Drugs Don't” [Spring 2005]. Chris's mom told his neurologist about it. The neurologist was thinking the same thing and referred Chris to Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle. Over several months, they did tests to verify Chris was a candidate for this surgery.

Chris had his surgery this past March 7. Everything went perfectly, every step of the way. Since then, he has not had a seizure. He will continue taking his antiseizure medication for a year just in case.

His family cannot thank you enough. Although Chris has damage from all his seizures, he has a chance at a normal life.

Jeff Hastings

Wenatchee, Wash.

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We welcome your letters. E-mail them to or fax them to 646-674-6500. Include the writer's full name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

We also welcome your personal essays. The SPEAK UP essay is a forum for people who live with neurological conditions and those who care for them. Please keep your submissions to 600 words

©2006 American Academy of Neurology

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