Maddie California

Seizure First Aid Education

Epilespy is the fourth most common neurological disorder. 1 out of every 26 people in the United States will have a seizure during their lifetime. What can you do to help?

Dear Future President,

I am writing to you on behalf of my youngest brother, Ari. Ari has an infectious smile that never fails to make me happy. His positive attitude lights up a room. He is the strongest person I know and has suffered from severe Epilepsy since he was born. He can have up to 500 seizures a day. Each seizure is like an “electrical storm” in his brain causing him to lose control over his entire body. He shakes, stops breathing, and if he were able to stand, he would collapse. Imagine, 500 times a day. Ari comes out of his seizures confused, terrified, and a lot of the time he is crying. He is unable to walk or talk, he needs 24 hour care seven days a week, and he eats through a G-tube attached to his stomach. He is basically immobile except for his occasional arm lifts that drain all of his energy. His whole life revolves around his epilepsy. This is not how a 13-year-old boy should live. His ongoing challenge is more than unfortunate, but so far no diet or medication has been the cure. It pains me to look into his eyes and not know what he wants. I don’t know his favorite color, how he is feeling, or when he is in pain; my family and I can only guess.

Aside from my brother, I have multiple friends who I know have Epilepsy, and I sure there are a lot of unknown people in my life who suffer from it as well. In many cases, a seizure can’t change the direction of someone’s life. It can be a one-time incident with no long-term effects, but if that seizure is not handled properly someone’s life can be in jeopardy. It is concerning that even though seizures are so common; seizure first aid is still struggling to be known. Understanding how to behave in the presence of a seizure can save a life and is not hard to learn. The steps in seizure first aid include turning the victim on his or her side, making sure nothing is in his or her mouth, comforting them, and getting additional help if necessary. Those are the basics that any capable person can follow and should know because anyone can have a seizure at anytime.

Once, I was walking on the street and a woman started fell to the ground and hit her head. She was having a seizure. Everyone around her was screaming and calling for help; I immediately stepped in. I took the straw out of her mouth from the drink she was having and placed her on her side. That terrifies me to think that if I wasn’t there, she might not have been properly helped. She could have easily choked and possible died. This type of situation happens daily, making it inexcusable to not stress the importance of promoting seizure first aid education in our society.

Every restaurant, school, store, and workplace should be required to teach its employees seizure first aid. It does not require a lot of time or energy to learn, but knowing it can go a long way. If a step-by-step visual was available to show what to do in the case of a seizure, the number of deaths from it every year could lower significantly. It’s impossible to guarantee that everyone knows seizure first aid, but this is a start.

Mr./Madam president, I am scared for people like my brother and the women walking on the street. Stronger enforcement and education of seizure first aid is a step in the right direction to insure victims of a seizure are getting the proper care they need. During a seizure, they are helpless, so it is up to us to help them. Their lives are in our hands and we need to take responsibility.

Thank you so much for reading this letting and taking my opinion into consideration.

With great respect,

Maddie B.