Christina's Story

It was as stormy morning in late June 1997 when Christina was born, seemingly healthy. At seven months old, immunizations were given and 48 hours later she was hospitalized with seizures eight to ten seconds apart. Like countless other families struggling with seizures, we were in and out of the hospital, and spent days with little sleep due to seizures that came throughout the night. After trying every anti-seizure drug, we heard about a special diet called ketogenic; not, however, from the neurologist in charge of her care, but from a sister who had seen “First Do No Harm”. Christina’s neurologist told us that infants could not go on this diet. After months of seizures—more than one-hundred per day—he finally prescribed the diet. Christina’s life was put at risk when the diet wasn’t administered properly and a deadly metabolic disorder was misdiagnosed. In an effort to save Christina’s life, we took her to Mayo Clinic 1,200 miles away. A second MRI found a lesion in her right temporal lobe, previously missed. Surgery was not an option due to generalized seizures. The only hope was seizure control. The diet proved a success, and we had one month seizure-freedom. After returning home, an illness required IV fluids, but the wrong solution was given and seizures returned. Unable to gain seizure control again by the time Christina was 2½ years old she was autistic, and did not speak. We continued to believe in the Ketogenic diet and knowing that fasting and prayer go together, we prayed for her healing. The diet again controlled the seizures, and two years of seizure-freedom paved the way for brain surgery. Today, Christina is 12 years old and seizure-free. She made honor roll last quarter, plays basketball, and all special educational assistance has been removed.