Saturday, January 27, 2007

Epilepsy awareness is a "must" for people to avoid tragedies

On behalf of the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York Inc., I would like to say I was heartened by the recent selfless act of a New York City man who jumped down onto live subway tracks to save a stranger who fell onto them after experiencing a medical problem ("Subway rescue hero says risk was worth it," Jan. 4).

It was a welcome reminder that there are still good people in this world, as well as a stark note that we must raise awareness of seizure conditions -- such as epilepsy -- so bystanders will know how to respond. Such knowledge may prevent other near-tragic events in the future.

On behalf of the more than 3 million people living with epilepsy in the United States, and the 40,000 people living with epilepsy in northeastern New York, we thank Wesley Autrey for saving the life of Cameron Hollopeter.

Seizures can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time -- they can even happen to people who have never had them before. There are many different types of seizures, both convulsive and nonconvulsive, and most people attempting to help someone experiencing a seizure will more likely harm than help that person.

First aid for a seizure is very simple: Keep the person safe until the seizure ends naturally after a minute or two. The Epilepsy Foundation's Web site ( is full of helpful information for people who live with epilepsy, their caregivers and the general public.
Your sharing of this information with readers can help save lives and bring epilepsy out of the shadows.


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