A Gift of Gratitude
Sherry Whitaker is overcome with gratitude to Barrow and Dr. Kris Smith. For months her son Nate had suffered from seizures, which began just before his 13th birthday. He saw several doctors, underwent a battery of tests and tried a variety of medications, but nothing helped.
Finally, a family friend recommended the Whitakers check out Barrow Neurological Institute. Though it wasn’t near their family’s home in Colorado, Sherry says Barrow was “an answer to my prayers.”
When they arrived, Dr. Smith and his team immediately took action to properly diagnose Nate and came up with an action plan to perform surgery to stop his seizures. Nate’s seizure zone was in a difficult spot – along his motor strip – so the chance of paralysis was high. But the family trusted Dr. Smith.
“When we came across Barrow’s team, I felt for the first time somebody cared about Nate as a person and not just a patient,” Sherry says. “We finally found somebody who cared and was willing to help us.”
Nate recovered well from surgery and now has his driver’s license, plays baseball and is able to live like any other 17-year-old. The Whitaker family visited Barrow recently to see Dr. Smith and learn more about Barrow’s innovative epilepsy program – including the addition of Magnetoencephalography (MEG), which features unparalleled sensitivity in detecting brain signals in patients with epilepsy.
Sherry shares, “Every time I see him doing something, I think he is a miracle. I just feel grateful.”
For their family, it was Dr. Smith’s patient care and advocacy on behalf of their son that made the difference.
“He went above and beyond. He went out of his way to work with colleagues to help Nate and the family,” Sherry recalls.
Offering hope to other families
Moved by their experience, the Whitaker family recently made a gift to Barrow in support of epilepsy research. Their donation will help patients receive access to more accurate diagnoses and support research to discover better treatment options. They gave back in an effort to provide other families with the same hope that their family found at Barrow.
“Watching a child having a seizure is scary and not knowing where or when it would happen next is even scarier. We want other families to have the hope we had, that Barrow provided for us,” Sherry says.