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An Inspirational Epilepsy Story - The Muller Family

The Sun Shines Brightly
Over The Muller Household


The cause of Liz Muller's over 20 years of seizure history is still a mystery. When she was five years old, she fell backwards off a porch about two or three feet and hit her head on a brick. The brick broke and she was given stitches for a large scalp laceration. She healed in the normal amount of time without any complications.

By the time Liz entered fifth grade she remembers having an aura similar to a deja vu or a "feeling like being there before."

Sometimes she felt nausea too. However, those were the only unusual feelings she experienced. Her studies went well and she went on to become a special education teacher for 19 years.

One day in 1980, Liz experienced her first big tonic clonic seizure while standing before her students. She says, "I didn't know what to make of it. Instantly, my world was changed as a result of it. From that point on, I just remember visits to the neurologists and taking a lot of medications."

Ironically, many of her students experienced seizures too. Fortunately, Liz was able to keep her job and most of her seizures occurred at night. She says, "I'd wake up tired and feeling sluggish. But, I was always ready to teach."

Four years before her first seizure, Liz met Marcus Muller, a paramedic with the San Marino Fire Department. It was a magnetic meeting for both of them. Soon after, they were married. Eight years later their beautiful daughter, Kellie arrived.

During most of these years Liz's seizures were well managed with anti-epileptic medications. Once in awhile she would have a break through seizure but nothing of serious concern.

Then, a few years ago, Liz's seizures grew worse and became unmanageable. Her life became one doctor's visit after another with several anti epileptic medications prescribed. She tried a total of eight medications without success.

Her spirits plummeted and she felt "life wasn't worth living like this." She was losing her sense of independence and Liz didn't know what to expect next.

In March of 1999, Marc's dad saw a feature news article in the Los Angeles Times on the Epilepsy and Brain Mapping Program at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

Marcus and her family encouraged her to take the necessary steps to determine if she would be a candidate for surgery. After a series of image tests, Liz was admitted to the Hospital for a seven day stay evaluation of the origin, type and extent of her seizures. Then, Liz was admitted to the hospital for another 20 days during a Phase II observation and finally another six days for Phase III.

Although her hospital stays were grueling, Liz and Marcus both say, "The nurses were wonderful with their words of encouragement. The volunteers were very helpful in bringing her the therapy dog to snuggle with."
After five hours of surgery performed by Dr. Adam Mamelak, she says, "I feel it was all worth it. My recovery took almost a full year, but I am now free of seizures and medications. The sun shines a whole lot brighter over us. I thank our Pastor, John Sims for his tremendous encouragement and I know all of our prayers were answered."

In addition to treasuring her "new life," Liz is now an active soccer mom and a volunteer at Huntington Hospital.
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