Honored to call him our son
By Vera McClaugherty
Back around 2012, I shared with a colleague that my son had recently been diagnosed with epilepsy. Prior to that, my husband and I had never given much thought to this condition other than having a dog, Puchi-dog, with epilepsy and learning to manage her seizures and such. We had never seen Brad have a seizure at home E-VER, so, immediately, we thought it was due to football. (It wasn’t.)
When our son was finally diagnosed, we started learning all we could and became involved. It was difficult because he was away at college. Needless to say, we drove up to see him every weekend and stayed whenever there was a seizure involved.
In November of 2013, my colleague told me about JoshProvides and a Walk for Epilepsy coming up. Our entire Florida family participated in the walk. We still have our t-shirts! As time passed, I remember contacting JoshProvides about making monthly donations. A gal named Andria Bilan answered the phone. The coincidence was too great. I asked if there was any relation to a student I had taught. She said he was her son. Imagine such a small world!
From there, I told her about how I had served as the “emergency contact” person at school for a student whose parents did not speak English and therefore had not advised the school that their son had epilepsy. There were other similar incidents throughout my tenure.
Our son was able to finish college and coach football at the college level while he was working towards his MS degree. He became a teacher.
Brad got married to an amazing young woman and moved to Ohio. She, a teacher as well, was familiar with students with epilepsy. He was involved in a horrific car accident that he suffered during a seizure. Thanks to Kaylin’s, contacts, he was able to get the care he needed at the Cleveland Epilepsy Center in Ohio.
In layman’s terms, he was diagnosed with having a “nest of nodules” in the top-center of his head which prevented the brain from working properly, thereby causing the seizures. Long story short, surgery was performed and as a result he has been seizure-free (although still on medication … just-in-case).
During this time, I was given the honor of being asked to serve on the board for JoshProvides Epilepsy Assistance Foundation. Doug and I have also had a couple of opportunities to talk and present before the JoshProvides support group. It is such a blessing to listen to their stories and to help so many people get the necessary assistance to be able to survive in this challenging world!
Brad is a SUPER HERO inasmuch as he has a lovely family, consisting of his wife and two amazing daughters. He is a special ed teacher at Crestview High School, offensive coordinator for the football team, track coach, weightlifting coach and still the sweet young man that Doug and I are honored to call son!