Carson was diagnosed with Epilepsy in June 2015 after a couple of months of unusual facial ticks. After diagnosis, he was put on one medicine that seemed to do the trick for controlling his seizures. This ‘honeymoon’ phase lasted 2 ½ years. In November 2017, Carson collapsed in our kitchen and had a grand mal seizure. This was the start of a very tough year. From this point forward, he started seizing monthly, to weekly, to every other day. He was in and out of the
hospital 10 times in 2018 for either testing or admissions from the ER. It was our first admission in February 2018 where we met Alisha from the Child Life Services department. She had a way of making Carson smile by showing interest in what he was interested in doing. Anything Carson mentioned in a casual conversation with Alisha, was always remembered by her, and she’d bring something to our room to make him feel safe and ok with being away from home. Each time we ended up in the ER, which was almost every 3 weeks, Alisha would be the first person to come down to the ER to see Carson. I cannot even express the magnitude of gratitude we have for her, as he always felt better when he saw her. As his prognosis got worse and the frequency of his stays at the hospital increased, we made the decision to do two brain surgeries in August as a way to give Carson part of his life back. Alisha was with us every step of that journey. She was the first one and the only one he’d want to see, each time we were in the hospital. She made the dark moments for him bearable and through her patience, understanding of what he was going through and her witty sense of humor, she was able to get him to smile on some of the really bad days. Since surgery, we’ve
had one more hospital stay and as we were on our way to the ER, Carson’s first request was for us to call Alisha and make sure she was working. Children who have the misfortune of being diagnosed with anything, are so very lucky to end up at UCLA as the care they will get from this institution is more than just medical expertise, it’s the human expertise and kindness that helps each of these kids work through their days ahead. We cannot be more thankful and humbled by what the Child Life team did and does for Carson, who makes those scary hospitalizations, like a mini vacation away from home. Thank you.