By Daniel Purdie and Cynthia McClain Purdie
Last year, our healthy, vibrant 2-year-old son Adam suddenly began having convulsive seizures. Another emergency facility thought they were caused by a fever or an allergic reaction, but the University of Maryland Medical Center soon ruled that out. They performed thorough exams and Adam spent several nights in the PICU while we wondered, worried, and waited by his side. We knew he was getting the best care possible, because we have trusted the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital with our family’s health care for more than a decade. But that didn’t mean we weren’t afraid and nervous about what was happening with our baby.
Drs. Kathleen Currey, Jack Gladstein and the entire team at the Pediatric Epilepsy Center were attentive and addressed all our concerns when they diagnosed Adam with epilepsy (seizure disorder). At first, we were disappointed about the extent of his treatment — our healthy 2-year-old would suddenly need to take medications twice a day for at least a year. We thought there was a cure! But we were relieved that he had not suffered any brain damage or injuries, which could have happened over time had we not caught the problem. Now, our son is 3 and we are happy he is responding well to treatment and has not had a seizure in a long time.
We wanted to thank the team at UMMC for the special kind of care they give to children and families, and to raise awareness about epilepsy in our community. Daniel is a performer and the second closest thing to his heart after family is music. He decided a benefit concert was in order and called it ‘AFAC: Applause for a Cause, Baltimore.’ He put the plans in motion and gathered support from fellow regional and national artists who donated performances.
The concert was held on campus at the Community Colleges of Baltimore County, Catonsville on October 14, 2011 and we had a great time. We were able to raise some money and share information about the great team at the Children’s Hospital. Plans are underway for an AFAC Baltimore Web site and a spring fundraiser. We want to continue to support the UMCH Pediatric Epilepsy Program.