Some Positive VNS News in the News

Yes, I mean news news, not news of the personal-and-complainy variety.

Yesterday I ran across this article about five-year-old Emma, who’s the first patient in Canada to have the most recently released VNS model implanted. When she was seven months old, Emma was diagnosed with the seizure disorder infantile spasms (IS); her parents are hosting an event on November 29 to help fund IS research.

I’m not always great about remembering to post feel-good epilepsy stories (though I often mean to post them), but I’m making the effort to share this one since a) it made me really happy; b) it’s local to my city!; c) this is, I’m pretty sure, the first time I’ve ever seen VNS therapy featured in the news; and d) it seems especially relevant right now because I’m in the middle of writing a blog entry that includes an update about my own VNS. (My VNS, which I lovingly? call Vanessa, for those of you who may not be aware/may have managed to push that weird fact out of your mind, belongs to the just-older generation. My epileptologist has already started talking up the new device, but I assume I’ll have to wait until Vanessa dies to get it. As an[other] aside, “wait until Vanessa dies” sounds a little morbid; I guess that’s why it’s best not to anthropomorphize medical implants.)

Emma’s surgery was in September, so she and her family don’t yet know whether or not she’ll respond to VNS therapy. I’ve got my fingers, toes, and VNS swipey magnets crossed for her. While it hasn’t entirely eliminated my seizures, VNS has been a real quality-of-life game changer for me, and the very fact that it exists gives me hope for further advances in medical science that’ll someday benefit me, Emma, and everyone else living with epilepsy, even if that “someday” isn’t until we’re all ruled by robot overlords.

When that robot-overlord day arrives, come find me and Emma. We, more or less cyborgs with our VNS implants, will have a leg up on you mere humans. Be nice to us, and we’ll help you out.


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