Family and friends can make the difference…

Jake is 17 now but had his first seizure at 13. When I asked what his first memory was about that day, he said the memories were vivid. “It was 8:30 am and we were wrapping up our third football practice of that year. I was listening to the coach and just blacked out, it was almost like I just fell asleep. When I woke up, a crowd of people surrounded me. I was trying to tell everyone I was just fine, but no one understood what I was saying.  Coaches daughters had had a seizure, so luckily, he knew what to do. He timed everything and was really prepared to help.  I spent only a few hours in the hospital and had an appointment with a neurologist.” Getting that diagnosis of epilepsy was a vivid memory, too. “I was asleep after my sleep deprived EEG. Mom took the call from the doctor with the news, but she waited until I woke up to tell me. Mom never cries, but in tears she blurted out, ‘You’re epileptic!” The significance of what she said didn’t really hit him. After all, he was the same person! He just took some time, calmed HER down and together they decided that they wouldn’t let it be a problem. “I knew my friends weren’t going to care. My family wouldn’t care. They had my back no matter what was happening.” Now seizure free and a senior in high school, he’s skating through the year. Jake still plays football, but also golfs and plays basketball. Jake never faced any problems in school, in part because he never had another seizure there and had no bad side effects from his antiseizure medications. From the very beginning, Jake had no problem telling everyone that he had epilepsy. In fact, he feels that the only thing his having epilepsy did was to make his family and friends more aware. Immediately, they all just wanted to know how to help him if he had a seizure. Sports are still very important to Jake. He has no limits. After that first seizure on the football field, he was back to playing in a month and his school went on to win two state championships. What’s next for Jake? The University of Miami and Sports Management! Good luck, Jake. We all have your back, too! “I believe the key was to be open, be honest, and talk about it.  From the very beginning people were almost afraid to bring it up, they didn’t want to make us uncomfortable.  I found talking openly about it easier on everyone,” shares mom Bridget.   Jake’s says that ATTITUDE is everything!  “I simply refused to let it hold me back.  Good advice for everyone!






Jake & friends spread epilepsy awareness!

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