Kimberly (Kim), currently 30 years old, has been living with epilepsy since the tender age of 11. Her mother sought the services of Epilepsy Florida for additional support in 2004 when she was 16 years old. A few years before this time, her father sadly passed away and her mother struggled financially to make ends meet. Her mother had difficulty affording Kim’s anti-seizure medications despite having medical insurance and ultimately she retired early to stay home and care for Kim. Her mother was referred to Epilepsy Florida for assistance by Patricia Dean, RN from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Kim was experiencing both tonic-clonic and absence daily seizures. In fact, it was her 6th grade teacher, that first noticed she was “daydreaming” in class and contacted her mother to inform her that Kim could be having seizures.  After an official diagnosis was provided with no leading cause, Kim and her mother felt isolated and uncertain about what her future might hold as they struggled with this new diagnosis in an already difficult time of loss in their lives. 

Kim says that her case manager at Epilepsy Florida provided support and guidance to her mother. They provided her with resources and advocated for Kim in the school setting. They also  helped increase her knowledge of epilepsy through support groups. Her case manager referred her  to attend Camp Boggy Creek. Kim says it was one of the best week’s she has experienced and that she wished she had come to the  agency sooner so that she could have been able to attend in previous years. 

As Kim approached adulthood she continued to rely on Epilepsy Florida for support, accessing case management, neuro-pysch testing, awareness presentations and opportunities for socialization.  She has never missed an annual walk or client dinner. She has been an active participant of the young adults outing group and says that the ability to engage with others her age living with epilepsy has helped her to come out of her shell. She credits Epilepsy Florida with improving her confidence and self esteem. Kim told her case manager that without the support system provided to her through Epilepsy Florida, she doesn’t think she would have gone onto college and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. She says that her participation in the services offered has helped her become more independent. Kim is currently working part time to supplement her SSDI benefits. She feels happier and even joined a local bowling league.  She is grateful for the encouragement of her case manager to always persevere and is even more delighted that she met her significant other at one of the epilepsy meetings offered. Kim plans to remain part of the Epilepsy Florida family and expressed her appreciation for all of the compassionate care provided over the years.

Carson Pedraza

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