A Corona woman is set to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher after a surgery at University of California at Irvine freed her of seizures.
The woman, 26-year-old Jasmine Williams, began experiencing seizures at a young age. Her seizures began when she was in the 4th grade and eventually got so severe that her parents decided to home-school her at 8 years old.
Over the years, Williams was placed on multiple medications that helped in reducing her seizures enough to where she could live a fairly normal life. But when she reached college, her seizures had returned and were so severe that she could no longer navigate her vehicle.
Williams was then given several medications that were set to help in aiding her seizures but one medication, she said, gave her bad side-effects.
"I was so fatigued, lethargic, depressed, and I also was dizzy all the time," said Williams.
Shortly after, she decided to set up a camera in her room to record herself sleeping. Through the recordings, she learned that she would experience more than 100 seizures per night.
Thanks to Dr. Jack Lin, director of the UCI Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, she has been seizure free for one year. Thanks to a series of surgeries, Lin was able to pinpoint the part of the brain that was causing Williams seizures. Once found, he was then able to remove what he called the problematic tissues. For Williams, the decision to go under the knife was an easy one.
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"That was actually the easiest decision I've had to make because before the surgery that was my greatest hope, was that [Dr. Lin] would be able to remove part of my brain and that I'd even have hope of being seizure free," Williams said.
As if being freed from seizures was not enough, Williams will be giving back to the surgeon who completely transformed her life. She has agreed to have her brain map for Lin's "Brain Initiative" research that seeks to understand areas of the brain where memories, emotions, attention and language problems develop.
The data that is collected from Williams' participation is set to help in 27 research studies. It is also set to help improve treatment for neurological disorders.
Thanks to her life being transformed, Williams will soon become a first-grade teacher, something she thought wouldn't ever be possible. She said the surgery has given her much more than she thought it would.
"I've been able to gain my independence back since the surgery," Williams said. "That's the biggest thing."