Elaina’s Embrace story — How a student found more freedom despite epilepsy

Family is everything, and for a person that experiences seizures, having family and friends to support them and to be alerted by the Embrace when it detects a possible seizure is important. 16 year old Elaina, who has had seizures since she was 8, tells of how she had her first seizure while spending some time with her family, whom she’s passionate about.

One night, soon after she got an Embrace watch, it detected a series of clustered seizures while her dad was sleeping and he was alerted to it, preventing more danger that could have happened had he not been alerted.

Her Story

8 years old and carefree… and then a seizure happened.

My story began when I was 8 years old in 2011, and we lived in Singapore. It was a Sunday afternoon after church, and our family was relaxing in our apartment, when I had my first seizure. My parents rushed me to the emergency room. Of course, I don’t remember much. The first thing I remember was when I woke up and saw my parents in front of me in the hospital. Then the doctor asked me “who is this”, and I said, “My dad and mom”. I did not remember any of my seizures and stayed in the hospital to have many tests. During the tests, I had more seizures, and the doctor confirmed that I had epilepsy.

Immediately afterward, I was no longer able to take a bath, had to be supervised while swimming, could not ride roller coasters any longer, and began to take medication.

Peace of mind with the Embrace

I first got my Embrace in February 2018 to highlight and alert when I was having a seizure. I had just experienced a phase of frequent and clustered seizures. I wanted to have my parents know when I was having a seizure, so they would have more peace of mind and I more freedom. And it has done both of those things!

Epilepsy Awareness Matters

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The biggest change in my life is that my parents now feel much more comfortable allowing me to be by myself. They have more peace of mind while I’m sleeping, at school, hanging out, or by myself. I don’t think about it much, but it’s become part of my everyday lifestyle. I know that if it goes off it will contact my parents.

I had a series of clustered seizures, and my Embrace watch alerted my dad.

Soon after I got my Embrace watch, I had a series of clustered seizures beginning at about 11 pm one night. My dad was alerted while we were both sleeping, and I was upstairs. And that first seizure led to 10 more over the subsequent 24 hours. Paramedics eventually came over in the middle of the night, and I was transported via ambulance to a children’s hospital. Without my Embrace watch, my dad would not have known about my seizures during the night, and I could have been in more danger.

One year seizure-free!

Since my initial seizures, I have had periods of frequent seizures and also phases of no seizures. In June of 2018 I had a Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS) implanted, and since that time, I have not experienced a seizure. One year seizure-free!

Her passion, hopes, and aspirations

I have a passion for my family. I love spending time with my parents, brothers, cousins, uncles and aunts, and grandparents. I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with all of my family, because they all live in different cities, but I love to be with them and they make me laugh. I also love animals, including my two dogs, Tucker (Bernadoodle) & Pringles (Poodle).

I am really into acting and drama club. I stay active with friends, my family, my dogs, and participate in a girls Bible study and YMCA group. My family enjoys spending time outdoors, and often we’re on the lakeside near our house in Austin, TX.

My dream is to be an actress.

I plan to go to college and dream to be an actress in on-camera productions when I grow up. Or possibly, I will work with animals, particularly dogs. I enjoy training my two dogs, and they make me feel better. I can see myself working with dogs to help other people. I also enjoy yoga and ballet.

Anyone with epilepsy should consider the Embrace watch. I would tell anyone who is considering it about the Embrace and how it had changed my life.

Words worth reading

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Embrace is a prescription-only medical device indicated as adjunct to seizure monitoring (subjects age 6 and up with epilepsy or at risk of epilepsy) in home or healthcare facilities during rest. Embrace detects patterns that may be associated with generalized tonic clonic seizures. For safety information, please refer to Embrace IFU.

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