Sandra is now 41 years old. There is a family history of epilepsy: her uncle also had the disease but the family didn’t see this as normal. She often saw her grandmother and mother crying, because her uncle was financially and physically dependent.
When she was 17 years old, she had an episode that would mark her life forever. The only thing she remembers is waking up and hearing her parents crying on their way to the hospital. After a battery of tests and neurologist appointments, the diagnosis came: Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. She thought about her uncle and was afraid, she didn’t want to have the same experiences.
While her mother began overprotecting her, Sandra decided epilepsy was not going to dictate her life. A year later she became pregnant. She was afraid and she stopped taking medication. She miscarried.
Living A Normal Life With Epilepsy
After school, Sandra married and, a few years later, Israel was born. This time she sought professional help and had a health baby. Now she has a husband and son: proof that she could have a normal life.
Seven years later, she had a baby girl. Born at 30 weeks, Martina was diagnosed with Pierre Robin syndrome, arthrogryposis, and with muscular and osseous atrophy in her arms. She spent the first 11 months in hospital and had 30 life threatening episodes. Today, Martina is a beautiful 12 year old.
But, life had another surprise: at 15 years Israel fell down. Sandra knew straight away that he too had epilepsy. Now, all her talk of independent living seemed rubbish. She just wanted to hold him close and not let him go. She realized why her parents had acted as they had done and, even now, she has to resist being overprotective of her son. Today, Israel is employed and has plans for his future. Sandra is now studying First Aid, is working and feels strong. ‘What does not kill you, make you stronger,’ she says.