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Testimonial from Shawna Yokley: Mother
I first met Anthony in high school. I was a nurse aide. I remember the first time I saw him have a seizure in the foyer. Some of the other kids thought he was goofing off. I knew what was happening because I've seen my Uncle and one of my cousin's have seizures like that before. My brother also had epilepsy but he had absence seizures. A couple of us ran to get the nurse. It was a little different for me to see someone outside of my family having a seizure.
Years later I was married with four amazing children. I had two girls and two boys. My family was complete. My Mother watched my boys, Shawn was three and Ryan was one, at my house while my daughters were at school. My husband worked out of town. One day I got a call at work from my father-in-law to meet him at the hospital something was wrong with Shawn. I was terrified. I got to the hospital before they did. When they got there and I opened the door Shawn was limp in his car seat. I picked him up and he looked at me like he didn't know who I was. It crushed my heart. He reached for the nurse when she came outside. He told her his head hurt and he covered his face. She took him directly back to a room.
My Mom called me and told me that Mike stopped by to see the boys. They were taking a nap. At around 11:30 am she went to check on them and Shawn looked like he was trying to run through the wall. She tried to stop him. After a few seconds he just fell to the floor and wouldn't respond to anything.
They started running taking blood and running tests. The first doctor thought he might have spinal meningitis. They did a spinal tap. They didn't know what was wrong so they didn't want to give him any sedatives or even a local. They held my three year old down and told me to keep him calm while they did it. It was traumatic.
The next doctor apologized and called Cook's Children's hospital to transport him. The Teddy bear Transport took him at 7 pm. My husband got there around 8 pm, Shawn started getting better at 9 pm, and we saw the neurologist at 10 pm.
We stayed at Cook's overnight. The neurologist said she thought he had a complex partial seizure.
That was one of the hardest days as a mother I have ever endured.
He started having seizures weekly then nightly. It was only happening when he slept. We started regular neuro visits and testing. He then started having several other issues. With every new issue came a new medicine. We were told he had Focal Onset Impaired Awareness Seizures, ADHD, sleep apnea, and Turret Syndrome. He had migraines and severe nose bleeds.
My son became a zombie on all of the medications. I didn't feel like I could handle it emotionally anymore. I was on Facebook one day and saw a post from Anthony and decided to reach out just to talk about it. I needed to talk to someone that could relate.
Just talking about it lifted a huge weight and allowed me to be more focused on what was best for my son.
After talking with Anthony about other options, we decided to start Shawn on CBD oil. We also made adjustments with his diet and sleep schedule. We eventually were able to get him off of all of his medications. He has gone as far as 2 months seizure free. We have made great strides, given that they were occurring nightly. I'm keeping hopes high that we will go even longer than two months.
Anthony has kept in touch and helped me on this journey for about six years now. Shawn is ten now and will be eleven in October. I honestly don't think I would have been able to be so strong for my son without the encouragement from Anthony. My son is inspired by the project and he knows we are not alone.
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Our dedicated team of volunteers are committed to bringing awareness to Epilepsy through art. Our mission is to educate, uplift and most of all to help raise funds for needy families that are struggling with Epilepsy and it's side effects.
Conceived in early 2018 this ambitious fund raising project by DFW based artist and fellow Epilepsy sufferer Anthony Pham and his dedicated team of artists, volunteers and support staff.
Having suffer multiple intense seizures every morning he decided to use his ailment to benefit others by way of letting his seizures be the paintbrush that would go on to create a series of unique art pieces with the intent of bringing further awareness to Epilepsy.
Our goal is to donate some of these paintings to hospitals with his story to hospitals across the U.S. with the hope that this will serve to uplift and inspire those of us within the Epilepsy community to spread a further awareness to Epilepsy and its causes. It is also our intent to auction off the remaining rest of theses paintings with all proceeds going to help low income families deal with this disorder.
If you would like to donate to our cause or would like to purchase a painting your generous contribution will go back into the Epilepsy community to help those in need!!!
Thank you and God Bless!
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