Something was terribly wrong. When my father-in-law returned from the store and pulled up in front of the house with our three children safely buckled into the backseat, he turned cold. His daughter, my wife Catherine was lying motionless on the front steps. A mark from an apparent blow was visible on her head. She wasn’t breathing.
There had been no fowl play. While I was at work and Grandpa was helping, by taking the kids with him to the store, Catherine had come outside to get some fresh air and had another seizure. The attending EMS professionals determined that when she fell she had struck her head on the concrete steps and the position in which she landed had restricted her ability to breath. She never regained consciousness.
Catherine had her first seizure around Christmas in 2005. The next one wasn’t until February 2006. At the time she was pregnant, with our eldest child Taylor. In the following years, the frequency of the seizures increased. They resulted in uncontrollable mood swings. The efforts of our doctors to pinpoint the source of the problem with MRI and other tests were frustrated by Catherine’s claustrophobia. It was impossible for her to stay calm in closed-in environments for the time required to get a meaningful result.
Epilepsy took my partner, and the mother of our three children Aiden 6, Madison 4 and Taylor 9. Moving on has been tough, but each day it gets a little easier. At the time, in 2015, we were living in Calgary. I have moved back to Orillia to be closer to my parents for their support with raising the children.
I know Epilepsy Canada is funding many research projects to help those living with epilepsy. I’m particularly interested in the work that is being done with MEG imaging. This is a helmet or band that is placed on the head to map out brain activity and help to pinpoint where seizures start. If the technology was more available five years ago, it may have helped Catherine.
Its my hope that Skydiving for Epilepsy will help to further this type of research.
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