rica Guthrie was a typical kid navigating the highs and lows of middle school when, at twelve years old, she started experiencing debilitating seizures.
“It was really scary. I blacked out and I walked into the street. A car almost hit me. A man had to grab me and save me. I had no idea what happened.”
For years medications controlled Erica’s seizures and allowed her to live a normal life. But by the time she entered college her seizures were out of control.
“The older I got the worse my seizures got. It got down to the point I was getting them almost every other day.”
Once a straight-A student, Erica was forced to drop out of school. She was desperate.
“I felt like there was no hope. Like, am I going to have to live in fear every day of my life?”
That’s when Erica discovered Dr. Emad Eskandar, Montefiore’s Chair of Neurosurgery and Director of the Epilepsy and Facial Pain Centers. Dr. Eskandar knew that to stop Erica’s seizures he had to figure out precisely where in her brain they originated. Working with a unique, multi-disciplinary team of experts, Dr. Eskandar did just that.
“...we found that, in fact, the predominant seizures were arising from the right temporal lobe.”
Dr. Emad Eskandar
Erica and her family were terrified, but they put their trust in Dr. Eskandar’s team and went ahead with the surgery. It was life changing.
Today, Erica feels grateful to be able to spend seizure-free time with friends. And for the first time in a decade, she feels confident making plans for the future.
“I’m hoping that I get to go back to school and get my nursing degree.”