Teen with epilepsy gets life saving device – w/video

Los Angeles, CA – High school senior Johnny Escolero just became the first patient to receive the AspireSR, a chest implant that helps stops seizures.

Escolero has 250 seizures a day, including when he sleeps. He told news outlet CBS News that:

“It’s really hard. You can hear the bones cracking and you could kind of twist a little and it hurts when you twist.”

Escolero and his mother’s largest concern is the harsh reality that 58% deaths happen because of night seizures during sleep. His mother Olga Espinoza is so concerned, in fact, that she only allowed her son to sleep alone when he became a teen. She told CBS news that she:

“Choose the room across him so I’d be able to hear him breathe, you know, at least. I don’t sleep.”

Enter the AspireSR; 80 per cent of seizure sufferers experience an elevated heart rate right before an episode. The AspireSR chest implant works by monitoring a person’s heart rate around the clock. Once an elevated heart rate is detected, the device stimulates a nerve. As Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Doctor Deborah Holder told CBS:

“Which is a nerve in the neck that sends information up to the brain and by stimulating this nerve off and on during the day, we can send information to the brain, change the way the brain works, and we can decrease seizures.”

It works within hours of implantation. After the procedure mother and son went for a three-hour nap. It was the most rest both of them had gotten.

Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead.

Source: CBC Los Angeles: Teen Becomes First Patient On West Coast To Receive Breakthrough Treatment For Epilepsy