VNS Therapy for Epilepsy

John Paul | Rocklin, CA

A simple trip to the supermarket one day changed John Paul’s life. He remembers reading labels, everything going fuzzy and then suddenly waking up covered in blood and in an ambulance. At age 53, John Paul had just experienced his first severe seizure. He was only unconscious for 35 minutes, but it would take four days to realize what had happened. This began a six year decline for John Paul. He began experiencing seizures two to three times a week which made it impossible to maintain his full time position as a pastor. Eventually, he was replaced and placed on partial disability, working whenever he could.

Noël | Rome, GA

At first glance, Noël is like any other 20 year-old college student. But just a few years ago, she experienced a health scare that would change her life.

When Noël was 15, she began to experience seizures. Her physician hoped she would grow out of them. However, one year later, her seizures became increasingly worse and more frequent. Medications didn’t seem to control them and made her feel tired and depressed, giving up the will to even get out of bed. Noël could no longer do chores because she felt like a zombie. She couldn’t drive, she lost 15 pounds because her medications made her sick, and she fell behind in school because her learning disabilities worsened.

Erin | Hanover, Indiana

Erin first experienced seizures after being hit in the head by a softball at age 12. At first, doctors didn’t diagnose her seizures as epilepsy but instead felt she was suffering from panic attacks, stress and lack of sleep. Erin’s condition seemed to improve until her junior year in high school when she began to experience five to six seizures each week. Each seizure lasted 15 to 20 minutes and almost always resulted in a hospital trip. Finally, during her senior year, doctors confirmed that her previous tests had been read incorrectly and she did indeed have epilepsy.

John | Colorado

For John, epilepsy has been part of his life since age 5, when he was diagnosed with complex partial seizures. After years of drug treatments, he underwent surgery at age 13 but only experienced limited success with reducing his seizures. At the age of 22, John learned of VNS Therapy from his neurologist and he and his family grew hopeful that VNS Therapy would reduce his seizures. He underwent the implant procedure in August 2010.