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Words resonate: College roommate reconnects over epilepsy

Fordham girls
Kath, beautiful as ever in center. Photo courtesy of R.Dunican Moriarty

I heard from my college roommate the other day. She sent me a story of witnessing a woman having a seizure in New York City and what the experience was like. Kathy has allowed me to share her experience with you.

Kathy’s Story

I wanted to share a little story from this morning. As I was walking into work this morning right at 49th and 6th avenue I witnessed a woman start to collapse. I figured she was fainting and she had a young girl holding her and guiding her to the ground. Immediately, a crowd formed and as I made my way to the corner (right in front of Magnolia Bakery) I heard that she was having a seizure.

As you know in NYC people do help out but this time as I was turning the corner walking around the woman who now had a tremendous crowd around her I noticed, no one was doing anything AND all the police barricades from the St. Patrick’s Day parade were still out. She had collapsed right next to the barricade.

College lesson

Then I heard your voice in my head – I remember you telling me back when we were at Fordham and rooming together the following three things; DO NOT pull my tongue, make sure nothing is around me that I may crash into and hurt myself and DON’T restrain me. Right then I turned back around and tried to help.

Funny, much of the crowd had dispersed. I asked this young girl, probably 17, who was holding the woman what happened. She said she had a seizure. She said she had them before but was not diagnosed as epileptic. I called 911 and the person on the line walked me through some stuff. We rolled the woman on her side and of course foam starting to spew out. I kept the woman on her side by standing over her so she then would not hit the barricade. The poor young girl was the woman’s daughter, they were on vacation with this other family who had arrived on the scene from Ohio. I stayed with them until the fire department arrived. They thanked me profusely and we said goodbye!

So, I did the right thing today and it felt good to help someone, however, not sure I would have if it were not for rooming with you and you instructing me so well. See, I did listen to everything you told me!!!!

-Kath
I have long admired Kathy’s intellect and strength, and was always a touch jealous of her looks (but don’t tell her that). Kath is a true friend and I am lucky to have her in my life.

Jessica K. Smith
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Founder and CEO Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog as she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen. She also brings 20+ years experience in marketing.