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Enabling Reese to Seize the Day

By Reese, a Children's National Hospital patient
150 Stories Reese

I was 5 years old when I had my first seizure. I was sweaty and hot after recess that day. My legs felt tired and the kid in front of me looked yellow. I dropped to the ground. Someone got the school nurse and called my mom.

Neurologists at Children’s National Hospital listened to me about what happened. They said I had epilepsy. I was scared, but they were calm and nice and made me feel better.

That was the first time I met Dr. Archana Pasupuleti and Dr. Amy Kao. They’ve helped control my seizures ever since. They also taught me how to limit them, to trust my instincts when one’s coming on and how to handle a seizure even if I’m by myself. I’m a lot more confident now.

Earlier this year I had a seizure on the school bus. It was crowded—five kids to a seat. I was trying to calm down another kid who was upset. I got stressed and hot. A friend saw my legs and arms convulsing and yelled to the bus driver to get my brother, John. He’s only 7, but he knew what to do. I was OK.

Some people who have seizures feel like they can’t do anything, but not me. I have a plan and I know my limits, thanks to my doctors. Last year, I went to Costa Rica with my family. I swam in waterfalls, crossed hanging bridges and climbed cliffs. I felt great.

My mom says she is forever grateful for the care I’ve gotten at Children’s National. Even though we live an hour away, we wouldn’t go anywhere else. I would drive a thousand miles to see Dr. Pasupuleti and Dr. Kao.

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