Fresno mother shares son’s experience with epilepsy in hopes of spreading awareness, raising money for treatment

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures that an estimated 1 in 26 people will develop in their lifetime.

A nurse from Fresno shares her son’s experience with a rare form of epilepsy that shook her world, but 3 year old Everett moves mountains.

“Everett was born in May 2018, he was our first child,” said Sara Sherwood.

He was Sara and Brandon Sherwood’s bundle of joys.

“He’s had an uneventful first 11 months of his life,” said Sherwood.

But then they noticed a slowdown. He was picky, slept poorly, and behaved strangely.

“It’s been turned away, you’re a first time mom, don’t worry, these are all normal things babies do,” Sherwood said.

It wasn’t until she videotaped the cramps that she convinced the doctor that her maternal instincts were true.

“I’ll never forget, we were sitting in the living room and he was reaching for a toy and he sagged like his body was giving way,” Sherwood recalled.

Everett was diagnosed with infantile epilepsy. A rare condition that causes convulsions that can lead to catastrophic, permanent damage to a child’s developing brain.

“All of these hopes, dreams, and plans that you have for your child and your future family, it felt like they were falling apart,” Sherwood explained.

After failed drug attempts, Everett qualified for hemispherectomy, major brain surgery to stop the damage, but he was paralyzed on one side of his body.

“People hear: ‘Oh, your child has half a brain, how is that even possible?'”

Everett is proof of that. He learned to walk. And hasn’t had a seizure since then.

“Our big dream is that he can speak. I would love to hear him say mom or I love you. These are big dreams for us, ”said Sherwood.

He communicates in his own way.

The family is now Sell ​​’Everett Strong’ shirts to help raise awareness about epilepsy; and money to afford an intensive rehabilitation program in Los Angeles, where they hope Everett can improve his brain development.

“He taught me more about life and the fragility of life, and I feel like I can help him by staying positive for him when he can face the struggles he has faced,” said Sherwood.

Despite his future, Sherwood welcomes every milestone with her son.

“He’s his own free-spirited kid, he’s very stubborn, but he’s here with us and I’m forever grateful for that,” said Sherwood.

A GoFundMe was founded to help the family raise funds for Everett’s treatment.

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