VNS Therapy for Epilepsy

John Paul | Rocklin, CA

A simple trip to the supermarket one day changed John Paul’s life. He remembers reading labels, everything going fuzzy and then suddenly waking up covered in blood and in an ambulance. At age 53, John Paul had just experienced his first severe seizure. He was only unconscious for 35 minutes, but it would take four days to realize what had happened. This began a six year decline for John Paul. He began experiencing seizures two to three times a week which made it impossible to maintain his full time position as a pastor. Eventually, he was replaced and placed on partial disability, working whenever he could.

John Paul tried various medications to control his epilepsy and, at one point, was taking up to eight pills a day. Taking all of that medication came with a price, and for John Paul, that was unbearable side effects. He developed rashes, his speech became incredibly slurred, he lost motor control abilities, had difficulty walking, and would sleep for most of the day. His epilepsy also began to take a toll on his marriage of 36 years. His wife was devastated and apprehensive about what their future would look like.

Not seeing any improvement, John Paul knew he had to do something. When his neurologist suggested VNS Therapy, John Paul jumped at the opportunity and was implanted in April 2005. With the addition of VNS Therapy to John Paul’s treatment, his results have been nothing short of remarkable. Since his device was turned on in May of 2005, John Paul has only experienced two seizures and he’s been able to gradually cut down his medications. He feels his life has been restored and he can now do all the simple things he missed like reading, doing simple calculations or handling the routine office activity at his church. John Paul said, “I feel a newfound freedom from frustration, and my confidence is back. My life has been restored and I’ll do anything to educate others about this pacemaker for the brain.”

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