When Battling Epilepsy, ‘You Have to Save Your Own Life’

This Is Epilepsy

The banging came in frantic
blasts, each more desperate than the last. Soles slamming against wood until it
splintered, the man’s shouts growing shriller by the second.

It was the sound of a
distraught father kicking in the bathroom door. So loud was the commotion, it
woke everyone in the house.

But 20-year-old Gordonnay Gaines couldn’t hear it. She lay
unconscious in the shower, the water streaming on her seizing body.

“That was the turning point for me,” says the model from West Orange, N.J.

Gaines, 22, has come a long way since that morning two years ago, not by chance. After the seizure—convulsions as usual—she was done with the status quo. Tired of consuming a drug that made her feel depressed even as the seizures kept coming.

“I would rather have
seizures than take medicine that doesn’t allow me to be myself,” she says.

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