Sarah suffered her first seizure in the middle of the night, at home in August of 2012.
I had awoken to a groan, and then a thump. Sarah had fallen out of bed and was on the floor, shaking, her arm was up the air, and she was clearly having a seizure. I called 911 and she was rushed to the hospital. After having a CAT scan, an MRI, and a spinal tap, she was cleared to come home a few hours later. Minutes before her discharge, she seized again. Sarah spent two nights in the hospital, and seizure free, was sent home.
She returned to work and suffered another seizure a month later working on the road in September, while giving a talk at a university in Minnesota. This time, when she seized, she was only 3 blocks away from a world-class medical institution. She called me an hour afterwards to tell me what had happened. As we spoke on the phone, she seized again... Luckily, they had an E.E.G. on her which confirmed a diagnosis of Epilepsy.
I immediately drove to Minnesota. We returned home days later with Sarah on anti-seizure medication, and she resumed a normal and productive life until a year later, on October 14th, 2013.
We thought that her seizures were controlled by medication. We had consulted with five neurologists and none had told us that a seizure could kill.
That Monday, Sarah suffered a seizure while at home on her lunch break. She became hypoxic in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and suffered cardiac arrest four times. She seized continuously for several hours in the ER until they put her into a drug induced coma. Two days later they attempted to bring her out of the coma and wake her, to no avail. A subsequent CAT scan later revealed massive brain swelling and damage. She held on for five more days, allowing over 100 friends, family members, and co-workers to visit the CCU and say goodbye, until Sunday, when she gave the gift of life to others through her wish to be an organ donor.
On Saturday, October 26th, hundreds attended a celebration in Sarah's honor, and we launched Sarah's Hope. Our first mission will be to educate people about SUDEP, or Sudden Unexplained Death from Epilepsy. The sad and beautiful events leading up to her passing were documented on Facebook by her friends and family. Scroll down to see how things unfolded.
You can connect with me, Sarah's Hope's, and Sarah's Facebook pages by clicking the links below: