I got the call while I was at work. My 6th grade daughter Keely, was hit in the eye while playing wall ball in gym class.
“Come quick,” the nurse said. “I see bleeding in her eye!” Needless to say, the 20 minute drive seemed like hours and I was shaking. I don’t even remember how I got to the school, just that I was in a fog. My daughter saw me and started to cry after I arrived. “I’m blind in my eye, mom!” she said.
We both cried as I lead her to the car. I reminded her that most artists had something “wrong” with them. Van Gogh lost an ear. She could use her blindness to gain popularity. I was teasing her by saying this. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of my worry. Keely ended up blind peripherally in her left eye, and scarring on her brain.
It took a few years to realize the link between “the accident” and the seizures were directly related. There was some relief in finding out she has epilepsy. The not knowing what she had was frustrating, scary, and caused a lot of sleepless nights for all of us. She has her seizures under control now with medication, and it has been several years since she has had one. I remember when I was a kid, I overheard someone talking about someone else saying, “There is the girl who has fits!” That poor girl heard it and I will never forget the look of shame on her face. I am confident that there can eventually be a cure.
We have come a long way in that there is a better understanding of epilepsy. With research, awareness, compassion and caring, epilepsy can become a thing of the past…or at least a cure of the future.
P.S. My daughter just joined the National Honor Society at the University of North Texas. Her grade point average is a 4.0. She plans on being an artist and a writer. She also feels that nothing can stand in her way. Her family is proud of her.