Hi, my name is Gina. I have been living with epilepsy since I was four years old. I had meningitis, a convulsion, and a high fever that caused the epilepsy. Medications were given to me at age seven which caused me to be very tired. Most of my seizures were at night, and caused me to be tired the next day. The lack of sleep, and lack of memory really affected my schoolwork and attendance. I was fortunate to graduate on time and decided to attend Radiology School the following year. I studied very hard to graduate and passed my boards at age twenty. The equipment and techniques have changed over the years and so have I. I married at age twenty-seven to my husband Bruce and had three children, Bruce, Daniel, and Natalie.
Just after my forty-fifth birthday I had a terrible accident that changed my life. I was on my way to pick my son up and had a seizure that caused me to flip my vehicle three times. Fortunately, no one was hurt! I was pulled out of my car not remembering anything. My drivers license was taken away from me and I was devastated! I began having more seizures. No one could help until I saw Dr. Susan Spencer. I was admitted to Yale and stayed there for a week. Yes, I had seizures in the hospital, and started having many exams. She suggested to me that I have a Temporal Lobe Resection and was sent to Yale for screening where they found out that I was a good candidate.
I began attending monthly support group meetings before my surgery. The meetings were very helpful and supportive. It was nice to meet other individuals who have epilepsy. Hearing what they had to say about epilepsy and how they dealt with it helped me through a stressful time in my life. I decided to have the operation because my children were so young and I was tired of constant seizures. The operation was performed by Dr. Dennis Spencer in 2006, and was a success. With support from family and friends I made it through the procedure and I have been seizure free. I am so thankful to everyone involved and for being here today.
I started driving again in 2007 and now work part-time in an office. I enjoy volunteering for the Epilepsy Foundation, especially Mud Volleyball! It’s a nice feeling helping others. I am still taking medication to prevent seizures, my short term memory is gone, and I always know when it is going to rain because of the headaches. I always try to think positive and keep an upbeat attitude toward life because life can be very short!