Michelle Hernandez’s Story
Hello my is Michelle and I am the founder of the turning the world purple foundation.
I am 29 years old and from Louisiana. I was diagnosed with epilepsy at 11 months old. They were mostly tonic-clonic fever related.
I also suffered complex partial seizures, but I did not know that they were seizures then. I would feel funny and kind of space out for a few minutes when I was 10 years old the tonic-clonic seizures stopped, however the complex partial seizures never stopped.
On my 18th birthday, I had a tonic clonic seizure which caused my mom to bring me to the emergency room where I was then referred to a neurologist. Only then, after talking to my neurologist and telling him about the weird feeling I would get as a child, is when I found out that is called an aura.
I was put on dilantin and did not have a tonic clonic seizure however the complex partial continued. They then added tegretol and topamax. My specialist decided to send me to Houston, Texas and see if they could help me with this new operation. The doctor was excited to meet me but told me he would have to add two more medications before I was even considered a candidate to try for surgery.
He added Keppra and phenobarbital. The complex partial seizures continued, so I was then admitted into the Epilepsy monitoring unit for testing to see if I was a candidate for surgery. After numerous tests, the specialist came in with a smile and said 90% of your epilepsy is coming from your right Temporal lobe. You are right handed, so you should suffer no long term side effects, so we can operate.
They set a date and I was nervous as ever. I have never had surgery before so the thought of brain surgery terrified me. My surgery was January 8th 2013 and that was also the day of my last seizure. I went into a seizure on the operating table the doctor touched my temporal lobe and it stopped.
Since then, I have become a full-time advocate for epilepsy awareness – I have even started a non-profit organization that you can find on Facebook under turning the world purple. As of today I am currently 23 months seizure free!