Faces of Epilepsy - Ray DiNitto - Epilepsy Foundation of CT

Ray DiNitto


I have had epilepsy all my life. I was first diagnosed at the age of five in the Boston's Children's Hospital. At the time they were the closest hospital looking at epilepsy. After being diagnosed, I was put on tons of meds. Then I became a teenager, that's when I started having more Grand-Mals this made it hard for me in school but I made it! I tried to go to college but was told I wouldn't be able to concentrate or retain anything, (never liked when they told me that). I moved out of my mothers house at the age of 17 and got a taste of being independent that’s when I  got my first job at Pitney Bowes but after a couple years I had a major seizure and was taken out of work. Within the next year, I met two new doctors Susan and Dennis Spencer and in 3months I had surgery, and it worked.  After the surgery I wasn't able to remember the people I loved, but after a couple weeks it starting coming back. In about 12 weeks, I got a new job working at Saint Raphael's Hospital as a groundsman. This is when my life did a 360. The hospital let me go to UConn to take the master Gardner program. I was very successful. If you know the hospital, I chose and planted the trees they still have. But I felt I needed to do more and that's when I became an orderly in the operating and found my calling to help others who are ill. Soon after I  became an SICU tech and loved it. I still needed more so I went through the program to became a CPR instructor but still wanted more. After seeing so many patients good and bad coming to the unit, I wanted to be part of the operating room team who was the heart of the hospital so again I went back to school to become a surgical technologist. I was successful and ended up taking a job at Hartford Hospital operating room. They were the hospital with the most traumas and that's what I wanted, in that time working their I must have been involved in over 600 cases and at the same time I was working at Yale in labor and  delivery helping bring life into the world. In between all this I got married to a nurse. We met at St. Rays had 4 kids so I needed to be closer to home that's when I took the job at the VA, and became a member of the heart team. I thought I found my place in life helping our Vets. But it happen after about 22yrs I had a seizure and had to step down from Scrubbing. This was very hard for me even though in a few months I went into scrubbing plastic surgery ,when I got bored  I  started to try sales in health care. It worked out well but then it happened my life fell apart  when I had a very bad seizure and this time I  was unable to remember. So in 2010 my world fell apart, I had lost everything my marriage, my job and my memory. In the last two years I have regained my memory, part of it anyway. and I am again on that road to recovery and hope soon to be able to help others again. I am currently attending the Hartford Hospital Support Group and am a member of the Epilepsy Center at Hartford Hospitals Patient Advisory Board. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I never let epilepsy take over my life and got to be successful in something I love doing and that is helping others. As a priest once told me things happen in life for  a reason and I believe that.
Don't ever give up !


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