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Andrea Wimberly started getting seizures during puberty. For years, doctors tried a medley of pharmaceuticals to treat her epilepsy. They gave her Tegretol and Vimpat and Dilantin and Lamictal and Depakote. Some of the drugs made her seizures worse. Others soothed the problem but didn’t fix it.

Usually, the seizures came on when she was stressed, sick or on her period. When she had a “simple” seizure she was “kind of out of it,” she said. With a “complex” one she would lose consciousness. At the next stage, a “grand mal,” or “tonic-clonic,” seizure, she’d be on the ground, vomiting and convulsing.

One day, during the summer before high school, Wimberley had yet another epileptic episode.


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