For four years, the IWK Health Centre has been Aurora’s home away from home. She relies on the IWK to help keep her seizure free.
“I had an amazing pregnancy and a great delivery,” recalls Stephanie Bourgon, mom to two-and-a-half year old Merrick MacKay. After Merrick was born everything seemed to be going great but after Merrick turned seven months he experienced his first seizure, followed by others.
The next month, an appointment with the IWK’s neurology team led to Merrick being diagnosed with epilepsy. In Merrick’s case, he has what are known as Focal seizures which cause him to also lose consciousness.
Stephanie and her husband David were devastated with the news. The initial days and months of Merrick’s diagnosis were particularly emotional and stressful for Stephanie and David. It was hard for them to come to terms that their little baby was ill. The neurology team at IWK was a great support and helped the family learn and cope about Merrick’s illness.
“The IWK have been a huge support throughout Merrick’s journey with epilepsy,” said Stephanie. “It has become like a second home to our family.”
The IWK have been a huge support throughout Merrick’s journey with epilepsy. It has become like a second home to our family. - Stephanie Bourgon, Merrick's mom
Merrick’s seizures are more prevalent when he is sick and his immune system is run down. Now that he is walking he often falls when he loses consciousness which can lead to him hurting himself. There’s a few seconds of warning prior to Merrick having a seizure, his eyes will deviate to one side and then he suddenly drops. There is no known reason why he suffers from epilepsy but he will continue to be closely monitored and supported by the IWK’s neurology team in the years ahead. Merrick, currently has been seizure free for four months with the help of daily medication. The struggle to find the appropriate dose or type of medication for Merrick is lengthily.
Story produced by C100/Virgin Radio Halifax.