Living with Epilepsy: Ashley's story - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Living with Epilepsy: Ashley's story

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We first told you about Ashley Burlison 12 years ago, a young girl suffering from severe epilepsy. Her family says doctors did not expect her to live past age 12. They call her survival a miracle.

Esther Burlison recalls the day her daughter Ashley, the youngest of two children was born. She says, "When Ashley was born, she had a stroke which caused her to have some brain damage, which caused her to have severe epilepsy. We brought the equipment home trying to control her seizures because Ashley was one of the hardest patients to try to control the seizures, no matter what they tried, it just didn't work." Esther says Ashley had more than a hundred severe seizures a day. She also has cerebral palsey. Mom says her prognosis was grim. Ester says, "They told us that she wouldn't be alive, that epilepsy would eventually take her little life, that she wasn't suppose to be here when she was 12. She was severe, and she's 24. God is good, God is good." Burlison says, "She's had two brain surgeries, and she had a vagus nerve implant and what the vagus nerve is it's like a little pace maker they put in your chest, and they run it up to your vagal nerve stem. It either controls your epilepsy or it stops it. It controlled Ashley's. That made a big difference in our life. Everything she's not suppose to be doing, she's doing. She's actually working. We've never hidden Ashley from the world. He's been on jet ski's, she's been horse back riding. Where we come from to now, it's a miracle."

Ashley went to prom, graduated from high school, and now has a job at Goodwill. She works three days a week. Ashley says, "It kind of feels good. because I thought there's a lot I could not do before, and I can now. Ashley has not had a seizure in two years, since her last brain surgery. She's thankful. Ashley says, "I thank God. He's been through it with me all my life, and I just thank him for being with me." Esther says, "I thank God everyday, because we've lost little friends from epilepsy from having seizure, and Ashley is still here, because of the grace of God. I just have so much joy inside that I can't explain. All these firsts, this is something I didn't think I would ever get to see, and just to look at this picture makes my heart just blow up and i'm overwhelmed."

Esther says Ashley still has challenges, but she's a fighter. Ashley has been working at Goodwill for six years now. She says she loves her job.

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