I’m Hailey, and I have a twin sister named Olivia, but we call her Livy. We are both 15 years old. Though I have written this, it’s her story, which is an incredible one at that. She was born with a brain malformation that caused her to have epilepsy and cerebral palsy. From that day on, she set my family on a challenging but incredible journey.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes a person to have seizures. A seizure is essentially an “electrical storm” in the brain where too many electrical signals are sent out. This can cause a person to do many different kinds of things, like shake, stare off, wander, etc. A person has epilepsy if they have seizures not caused by another underlying condition. They may have if for many different reasons and it may onset at any time in life with varying severity. Cerebral palsy, which affects movement of body parts, can also accompany epilepsy from birth. In Livy’s case, she had her first seizure hours after birth and is unable to walk or speak. She has had two brain surgeries and has spent many months in the hospital. Early in her life, she had days where she had over 100 seizures a day, though thankfully they are better controlled now. But despite all she has been through, she is able to stay strong all while spreading hope and inspiration to others.