From the moment that first seizure happens, many patients and families battling epilepsy are suddenly forced into a new and uncertain reality – one of endless questions, fears, and frustrations. Where do you go for information? What are your treatment options? Who can you talk to? What should you even be asking? Thankfully, patients and families are not alone. One in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetimes and millions more will be touched by this devastating condition. While the diagnosis can be challenging there are people and groups who can provide support in many different ways. The trick is how to find them.
In this remotely recorded episode of Seizing Life, we speak with Wake Forest University Associate Professor of Neurology and dedicated epilepsy advocate and educator, Patricia Gibson about gathering information, accessing care, and finding your tribe in the world of epilepsy. With decades of experience, Pat is an epilepsy trailblazer whose dedication, passion, and hopefulness has never waned.
On this episode, Pat describes how she has spent most of her life helping people with epilepsy find the information, care, and medications they need. While she doesn’t have a personal connection to epilepsy, she was drawn to the amazing community and their desperate need for answers and support early in her career. To address these needs, Pat was instrumental in establishing a comprehensive care center for epilepsy in North Carolina, where doctors and professionals from different fields work together to care for patients. In 1979, Pat established a hotline where people with epilepsy could call to ask their questions without facing shame or stigma. That hotline still operates today, and Pat still fields calls from people all around the nation to get people the epilepsy care they need.
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