Local girl refuses to let epilepsy slow her down

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Epilepsy affects many Hoosier children–but new treatments are helping kids live life to the fullest.

Paige Anderson looks like a normal 9-year-old girl. However, that was far from the case three years ago, when she suffered her first seizure.

“It’s basically when you’re shaking and you go off into la-la land,” Paige said. “When you first snap out of it, you don’t really remember what just happened.”

Paige has epilepsy—a condition that affects anywhere from 1 in 100 to 1 in 200 children in America. Paige’s mother, Tina, said the condition puts her and her family on edge.

“As a mom, every day I worry that I’m going to get a phone call from school. It’s unpredictable,” she said. “You don’t know when it could happen. It could happen at any time.”

Dr. Jim Pappas of Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent said a seizure can be a very scary experience—especially for parents.

“The biggest thing is to remain calm,” Pappas said

It’s also important to roll a child on their side, and then call 911 as soon as possible. While living through a seizure can be intense, Pappas points to advancements in medicine that can help improve the quality of life for those affected.

“Children like Paige who are seizure free and on a medication without side effects lead a normal life,” he said.

Everything is normal back in the Anderson household. Paige does her homework and chores—and finds plenty of time to be a kid.

“Paige is a normal child,” her mom said. “She just has to take medication and she can do everything anybody else can.”

November is epilepsy awareness month. Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent will host a patient information meeting on Saturday, November 17 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel. For more information, call 317-338-CARE.

Click here to register for the event.