2015 Colorado Gives Day

Tramatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury in 2006 introduced me to seizures at the age of 23 and a new life with epilepsy. The following years have been a gauntlet of medication after medication, grand mal after grand mal, and struggle after struggle. 

In 2010, my epilepsy was diagnosed as refractory, and I was directed to University of Colorado Health Science Center to begin the workup as a possible potential candidate for temporal lobe surgery. Phase I monitoring, MRI, WADA and neuropsychology testing led to phase II. I have been profoundly lucky and grateful, as they were able to resect the focal area from the left temporal lobe in May. I am recovering two months out of the surgery and have been seizure free so far.

Through my accident and experience, I carry an immense amount of compassion with me each day as I relate to the fear and joy of what others endure. I have seen the change in my life as a positive opportunity where I have been tested physically and mentally to be shown my own strength and resilience. Aided by friends and family as well as the medical and epilepsy community, my will to achieve and capacity to do so has flourished. In the past years, I have learned that epilepsy does not define me, but instead fuels my desire to be involved in making the lives of others better. I hope that more of us can share and link together with one another to realize that we are never alone!

-Jessi Bishop, 27, Fort Collins, CO

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