Eric arrived on May 17, 1991. He complained loudly about his introduction to the outside world, but he was a healthy baby. He soon proved to be a very easy baby with a cheerful disposition. He developed right on schedule. We loved our son, so we listened to the doctors who told us that he needed to be vaccinated. My wife was a nurse, so we didn't even think to question whether this was best or not.
Within hours of his DPT shot, our sweet, cheerful baby disappeared. He was replaced with a fussy baby who cried constantly. A large knot developed where the shot was given. This baby who had been sleeping through the night, no longer slept, but kept on waking up screaming. I remember the first time he had a seizure in my arms. It was seven days after the vaccine. His eyes rolled back in his head, and he went completely stiff. He started turning blue. I feared he was dead. I ran for my wife. She held him, while I drove the car to the hospital. By the time we arrived, he had come out of the seizure and was crying.
The doctors couldn't figure out what had caused the seizure. A spinal tap came up normal. We were sent home the next day without any answers. The spector of Eric seizing in my arms haunted me. He continued to fuss and cry, so we took him back to the doctor. "He has an ear infection," we were told. We were given an antibiotic and returned home. Eric's next seizure took place in church while Jennifer was giving him a bottle. At first she thought he was choking on the bottle, then she realized he was seizing. We were told we would have to take him to a larger facility in Mobile, Ala. He had 10 seizures during the 35 minute drive.
I cannot describe the helplessness I felt. As I watched each seizure, I wondered how I could survive with my heart intact if it was followed by another one. It felt as though my heart was at the breaking point.
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