Tragedy in Texas…Lessons Can Be Learned

This story really resonates…

A high school football player in Texas collapsed and died Saturday, reportedly after suffering a seizure. He was the star quarterback, had just thrown his second touchdown of the game, was an A student, and had a history of seizures. I didn’t know this young man, his coaches or his family…but my heart and my thoughts go out to his entire family and his teammates. I can only imagine the devastation and the despair they are feeling this morning.

Reginald Garrett throwing a touchdown, photo courtesy CNN.com

From the quotes in the CNN.com post, it sounds like coaches never saw signs of seizures, but they knew this young man had a ‘history of seizures.’

“I didn’t know what to do,” said one of his coaches. “I just stood there, it was surreal.”

This particular situation aside, these types of tragedies are incredible learning experiences. How informed is your school, workplace, the gym you visit…any place you frequent…about seizure-safety? Do relatives you are close to know what to do in the event of a seizure? Do your friends know?

I was always quite proud of the fact that my former workplace–a massive office complex–had a poster hanging on my floor, with step-by-step guidelines of what to do in the event of a seizure. I pushed this after I suffered a grand mal seizure on the floor a co-worker’s office. Would company officials have taken it upon themselves to pursue this had I not instigated it? I’ll never know. But those of us who live with Epilepsy, and those who care for someone who lives with Epilepsy have the power and the ability to push the issue. It’s all about education.

I’ve said this before in other posts, but I love to reiterate…there are LOTS of programs out there to teach people about seizure-safety. You can download materials, ask your local Epilepsy Foundation affiliate to send you information to distribute. Many will come to your workplace or school…or even your home…to give a lesson on seizure-safety. I bet someone would even visit a big family gathering or dinner to do a 10 minute overview on seizure-awareness and safety! You can’t go wrong when it comes to informing people about seizures, but this takes determination and a willingness to share your condition with others. It’s not a bad idea to just send your friends the link–or post it on your Facebook page for all you are connected with to see. I just did. Heck, I’ve had a pen stuck in my mouth during an episode…and I want to make sure that never happens again.

That said, I’ll attempt to make it easy. Here are some good links…take your pick, and good luck when it comes to spreading the word, and perhaps protecting yourself and others.

Epilepsy Foundation of America, Seizure First-Aid

Epilepsy.com…Preparedness

EpilepsyOutreach.org

WebMD

About.com

TalkAboutIt.org

First Aid for Seizures, Epilepsy Foundation of America

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