My name is Ann Stéphanie and I am a paramedic in the Canadian Forces. I have epilepsy. On September 15th, 2015, I attended a conference in Kingston, Ontario accompanied by the medical team of my unit. During this conference my life was turned upside down.
I was a little tired and did not feel well. I got up to walk around but after a few minutes, I temporarily lost hearing in my left ear. I sat down on a bench at the end of the room and don’t remember much after that.
I have only vague memories of this long event (status epilepticus), I remember feeling as though I was not in control of my body and unable to breathe.
I awoke in restraints and intubated in a hospital bed, with my family around me. I was in the hospital for a few days. Several medical exams and questionnaires were completed in order to determine what had triggered the seizures and to determine if there had been any prior events.
It was a terrible shock! After 8 years of being a part of the military everything in my life took a hit. My career was put on hold, my driver’s license was suspended and I now require daily medication which has intense and sometimes debilitating side effects. As a paramedic, I will probably have to reorient my career because of these events. In spite of all that happened to me, I now have a satisfying quality of life, something that many others do not have.
Not many people are informed about this disorder and no cure currently exists. By donating, you support over 300,000 Canadians who are living with epilepsy. You also fund research that one day will find a cure.
Thank you to my boyfriend Patrick Laforest, who is always present in my projects as insane as they look, and without whom this project would not be possible. Thank you for believing in me, you all make me stronger.
This summer, I would like to cross the Algonquin Provincial Park from west to east with my boyfriend. We will be canoeing and portaging over 105 km over a 6-day period (May 16th-21st) with the goal of raising over $5,000 to support Epilepsy Canada.