Seize the Day: Surprise party thrown for Thompsonville teen battling epilepsy

William McPherson – WF Gazette Photo

THOMPSONVILLE, IL (William McPherson, West Frankfort Gazette.  Please click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

The tight-knit Thompsonville community came together last weekend to throw a very special surprise party for a brave young man who is taking the fight to epilepsy.

Garrett Bussick, 13, a seventh grader from Thompsonville, has been battling epilepsy since he was a small child. Garrett is scheduled to undergo a rare type of brain surgery in August, known as a hemispherectomy (removal of half the brain) which will hopefully cure his seizures, but which will mean he will have to re-learn many basic motor functions afterwards.

After surgery, Garrett, an energetic young man who enjoys the outdoors and playing basketball, will have to learn to walk, talk and do everything he currently does all over again. He will have to gain all of his daily abilities back, and will lose his left peripheral vision in both eyes. His mother, Lindsay Bussick added, “He will have to learn how to adapt to a loss of visual field without making it so noticeable that people wonder what he’s doing. The doctors have already said it will be the hardest thing he has ever done.” The process will involve many tools; such as glasses, braces, adaptive clothing, and shoes.

To help with medical costs, Garret’s family has set up a fundraiser at T-shirts can be ordered through Garrett’s mother, who can be contacted on Facebook. There is a minimum order of 12 shirts since they are purchased in bulk from the t-shirt printer.

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