Educate Yourself About SUDEP

Renaldo's eJourney shared by his wife Ellen Mason
Ellen Mason
Partner of a Person with Epilepsy
Thursday, October 14, 2021

My husband Renaldo had his first seizure when he was 24 years old. It was a Saturday morning in January, when his boss called me and told me an ambulance was on the way. Over the next year and four months, he had several breakthrough seizures as he struggled to adjust to the life of taking medication every day and taking better care of himself. Of course, when we are younger, we all think we will live forever; but Renaldo did not live past 25 years of age.

The following May, which was a year and four months after his first seizure, Renaldo died from SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy). We had no idea what SUDEP was, and we were not warned of the possibility of it taking his life.

It has been over ten years since Renaldo's death and learning to live again after his loss has been so hard. In so many ways it feels like a lifetime ago and in other ways, it feels like just a blink of an eye. Renaldo is loved and missed daily by me, his family, and friends. 25 years old is way too young to leave this world.

I’m sharing my husband’s story to encourage other people to educate themselves about epilepsy, take your medications as prescribed, and talk to your healthcare provider about SUDEP. Find support and community through your local Epilepsy Foundation for help and resources.

Find Your Local Epilepsy Foundation

Reviewed by: 
Sara Wyen

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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