Help Tom Kick Epilepsy Out The Door

This is my husband Tom. Our Story started back in1994 when we first met. Love at almost first sight:) We were planning our wedding and our future together. With out a true worry in the world.

In 1997- 5 months before our wedding, Tom suffered his first seizure. I came home from work to find him laying on the floor unconscious. After rushing him to the ER he continued to have 5 more Grand Mal (Tonic Clinic) seizures that night. At the age of 27 Tom was diagnosed with Epilepsy.

He continued to work until 2003 and his seizure activity progressed to a point where that was not possible any longer. In 2004, Tom had his first of three brain surgeries, ending with a temporal lobectomy.
With all hopes that these surgeries would help control his seizures. Unfortunately they did not.

Fast forward 13 years, and two kids later.  Tom is still having 60-90 seizures a month. He is considered to have uncontrollable epilepsy. Despite the hundreds of trips to hospitals for emergency injuries, appointments, testing, more surgery (VNS), the dozens of different types of medications he has tried and having to travel 4 hours (one way) to see his neurological team at the University of Michigan hospital he is still a loving and caring husband and father.

We are now to a stage where at the end of October 2017, Tom will be going back to U of M to have another brain surgery done to implant electrodes into his brain (SEEG) and to be monitored for 10 days. After these test are completed the doctors and us will decide if removing more of Tom's brain will help control more of his seizures or if implanting a Neuropace device (like a pacemaker for his brain) will possibly help.

Up until this stage of Tom's medical adventures we have been able to take care of his medical bills. But, now that we are a one income family with two teenagers, and with me having to take so much time off work to run him to doctors appointments, we are concerned that we will not be able to afford these procedures to hopefully reduce Tom's seizures.

Just the cost of one trip to U of M totals over approximately $ 150.00 each time. That is if we do not have to stay over night or the hospital bills.  ( This year alone we have traveled to U of M- 7 times not including upcoming trips)

Thank you for reading a condensed version of our story (so far) and if you feel so inclined to help out we would greatly appreciate it. Peace, Love and Kindness all around.
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Organizer

Sandra Helmer 
Organizer
Petoskey, MI
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