This week on Seizing Life® we speak with Reid Rainwater and his father Ryan about the sudden onset of epilepsy that Reid experienced as a freshman in high school, his journey to controlling tonic-clonic seizures, and how epilepsy and stigma have impacted his education and tennis career as one of the top young players in Oklahoma.
Reid experienced his first tonic-clonic seizure at 14 years old in a sudden and severe onset of epilepsy that resulted in hospitalization. During the next several months Reid experienced several more tonic-clonic seizures and five hosptalizations as he cycled through medications trying to achieve seizure control. The impacts of the seizures and the side effects of the medications left Reid appearing “like he had a concussion for months,” in the words of his father Ryan. As a result, Reid ultimately had to repeat his entire freshman year of high school and was unable to play tennis during that time. Though Reid finally achieved seizure control and returned to classes and tennis the following year, the missed time would become an unexpected issue in his senior year when he was ruled ineligible to play high school tennis by the Oklahoma high school sports governing body. Ryan Rainwater immediately took legal action against the discrimination and lack of understanding that led to the unjust decision, and Reid’s eligibility was reinstated. Reid and Ryan detail Reid’s epilepsy journey, discuss their fight against stigma, and reveal how Reid continues to play tennis at a high level despite the occurrence of seizures – even during matches.
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