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Haiti – March 2018

A young man living in the mountains of Haiti has suffered from seizures since he was ten years-old. People were afraid of him when he had seizures at school, so he had to drop out. He has lived with uncontrolled epilepsy for fourteen years.

Dr. Pierre Sonel of the Children’s Hope Medical Clinic in the port town of Jacmel traveled to the remote village where this man lives. The area is rough and hilly, and villages with reliable electricity are rare. This makes diagnosing and treating epilepsy particularly difficult. Without a proper EEG study, it’s not possible to know with certainty the cause of an individual’s seizures. An EEG study also helps determine the type of epilepsy and allows the physician to refine the patient’s treatment plan.

Dr. Sonel had been trained to use a solar-powered EEG system by the neurologist who originally developed it. In an area where electricity is absent or unreliable, EEG equipment nonexistent, and neurologists trained in diagnosing and treating epilepsy several hundred miles away, this is a life-changer for those persons living with the disorder.

EEG studiesare uploaded to a secure server via the internet and read by neurologists in the U.S. The results and recommended treatment are then returned to the site.

Because the equipment is solar-powered, Dr. Sonel was able to conduct an EEG study despite there being no electricity. The data was sent via a cell phone internet connection to a physician in the U.S. who read the study. Within ten minutes, a report was sent back with the diagnosis of generalized epilepsy. Dr. Sonel supplied the young man with Roweepra® for controlling the seizures and will continue to monitor his progress.

By combining compassionate care, innovative technology, and medication it’s possible to resolve the problems of epilepsy in under-resourced areas of the world. It is our goal to restore hope to countless thousands of people with epilepsy—one life at a time.

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