As parents, we always anticipate the worst when raising our kids but never expect it to become a reality.

Born on October 13, 1985 at 1:51 pm in Milford Hospital – Heather Elizabeth was our first precious gift of life.  Her very early years were filled with joy, love, and good health. She and her now estranged brother Jonathan Mark, born approximately 6 years later – were the absolutely love and pride of our life.

Fast forward to an evening 14 years later.  My wife Elizabeth and I heard thudding noises coming from Heather’s bedroom located above our kitchen.  We went up to check and found our daughter in the midst of a grand mall seizure lying on the floor by her bed.  After calling 911, the remainder of that long night in two different hospitals remains a blur.

Heather was ultimately diagnosed with “idiopathic” epilepsy.  In other words, a seizure disorder with undetermined causes.   From that point forward, Heather experienced several breakthrough seizures until the proper dose of medication was applied. She would need to take that medication for the remainder of her life to avoid subsequent breakthrough events.  Although mostly seizure free, the medication definitely affected her once very vibrant and outgoing personality.  Nevertheless, she did very well in school, played sports, graduated college, married and became a mother to our beautiful granddaughter Olivia on August 26, 2014.

Following a recent case of Covid 19 her new husband returned to work for the first time in two weeks on October 26, 2021. Heather typically worked from home.  Olivia had been staying with her Dad and stepmom during their illness.  We were used to speaking or texting with Heather daily.  My wife texted her a few times that morning.  We called her and connected on the way to our gym.  Heather mentioned she had a very bad headache -probably sinus – and then we lost cell signal – and could not reconnect. Not suspecting anything we continued on with the day.   We never imagined that would be the last time we would ever speak with her.

After several follow up texts with no response, we decided to check in on her.  The rest is too terrible to even fully describe.  While waiting for 911 we had to perform CPR on our own little girl as she laid there lifeless.  We had lost our daughter forever and Olivia had lost her mom to SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy). We hope this event will help bring awareness to those who are suffering with or have a family member with epilepsy.  Our goal is to support research to solve the mysteries associated with this condition and prevent this type of family tragedy.

Today, there is a very beautiful and vibrant 9-year-old Milford resident still asking that answerless question – why is my mommy gone?  Her first words when notified – following the shrill primal scream were – “I really needed her.” Together, join us and let’s unite to prevent families from experiencing the heartache of losing a loved one to epilepsy.