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Faces of Epilepsy
Joseph JablonksiJoseph Jablonski is 8 years old and lives with Epilepsy. Joey ’s life started out harder than most. He was given up for adoption at birth and spent the first four and a half weeks of his life in the NIC unit. At 5 weeks, Scott and Christine Jablonski adopted Joey and took him home to Northford, CT with his three year old brother Jeff. Joey had some health issues, but overcame most with age and development. At that time, Joey was on Phenobarbital , since the NIC nurses saw signs of seizure activity. After an EEG by his neurologist, Dr. Francine Testa, no evidence of seizures appeared and Joey was slowly weaned off the Phenobarbital. Joey’s development seemed slow and when he was a year old his parents noticed his head shaking unusually. At that point, Dr. Testa ordered an MRI which showed that Joey had suffered a right hemipparesis, a pre-natal stroke which caused cerebral palsy limiting the use of his right side.
Joey received PT and OT weekly to try and strengthen his fine and gross motor skills. The cerebral palsy also impacted his vision and Joey had corrective eye surgery twice by the time he was three. In the winter of 2004, at the age of four, Joey had his first seizure. When he arrived at Yale Children’s Hospital, almost 50 minutes later, Joey was still unresponsive. By the time Joey was in Kindergarten, he averaged 30 seizures a day or as he called them “shakes”. Joey tried Kepra and Zoneagram, but neither seemed to control his seizures. The third medication Joey tried was Depakote and it appeared to slow down the amount of seizures Joey was having. At eight, Joey takes 1,200 mg of depakote daily and has been seizure free for 6 months. Joey dosage has to be monitored with growth spurts and change but it is working well for him at this time.
Joey struggles every day with his challenge both physically, emotionally and visually. He never seems to let it get him down; he just keeps plugging along getting through hurtle by hurtle. .Joey receives PT, OT and VT weekly and receives special services in school.
People just seem to take to Joey; he has a magnetic personality and is charismatic. Joey is bright and with modification, does very well in school. He plays baseball, football and basketball, but his favorite activity, hands down, is riding his quad. So many people have had a positive effect on Joey’s life and he has wonderful resources around him. People tell Joey’s parents that they “save him”, but they feel the complete opposite. Their world has been fulfilled with the blessing of Joey and would be so empty if they hadn’t found him.