“Julio had his first seizure when he was 13,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “At first, he only had them once a month, then once every two weeks, then every week. Lately, he has been having seizures three times per day.”
These epileptic seizures can be frightening for Julio, a 15-year-old from Guatemala. “When he has a convulsion, he falls, begins to shake, and his eyes roll in the back of his head,” reports WK. “It normally lasts fifteen minutes, and afterwards he is usually weak and dizzy.”
These now-daily interruptions often force Julio’s mother to keep her son home from school so that she can care for him. This has substantially slowed Julio’s education: even though he is in his mid-teens, and seems to have no learning difficulties, he has only reached fifth grade. His mother has also had to quit her job so that she can stay home with Julio, putting the family in financial strain.
Despite these setbacks, Julio is an outgoing, academically ambitious boy. “Julio loves to study and talk with his classmates,” says WK. “His favorite things to do are to play soccer, and practice math.” He dreams of becoming a teacher one day. Without intervention, though, that dream will be difficult to achieve.
Fortunately, Julio’s doctors believe his epilepsy is not intractable. For $966 we can connect Julio with the combination of medications he’ll need to get his seizures under control. This cost will also pay for diagnostic lab tests and a brain MRI, so doctors can make sure they are treating him correctly.
“This treatment will allow Julio to be much more independent, as he will be healthy enough to leave the house on his own,” WK tells us. This means that Julio will be able to aim high in his own education, and someday, to help others do the same by becoming a teacher.