Shyloh McCarville was stunned when her son Jacob, now three-and-a-half years old, began having seizures.
Although the toddler has had some past health issues, nothing prepared the young mother for the shock of seeing her child writhing in violent convulsions, foam coming from his mouth.
McCarville, who recently married and has a blended family, has taken Jacob to several specialists. She hopes they will be able to discover the source of the seizures but right now there are no answers.
The first time she saw it happen, it was frightening.
“My step-son Dayton found Jacob last April in a full blown seizure. I ran to him and saw he was having convulsions. Foam was coming from his mouth. I couldn’t handle his body doing unnatural things I started screaming. I was hysterical. My husband Steve has his first aid and he was able to take control of the situation and call 911.”
Jacob was immediately taken by ambulance to hospital. During his first two hours there, Jacob endured “every type of seizure known including a grand mal,” says McCarville.”
Grand mal seizures feature loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. However, even after the seizure activity subsided with treatment, doctors still had no clear answers as to why it had happened.
Jacob had no history of head injury or epilepsy.
“One doctor called it a seizure disorder, but we have no idea. We’re hoping for more information.”
Since that first night in hospital, Jacob has been seen by specialists in Vancouver where he’s undergone a battery of blood tests, an MRI and an EEG to monitor brain wave activity.
“Right now doctors are studying Jacob’s DNA structure for any clues and we are hoping to get some answers this week,” said McCarville.
The trips to the Lower Mainland cost money, so family and friends have stepped in to offer their help. They are having a Guitar Wars fundraiser Sept. 15 for Jacob at the Westwood Pub where all proceeds go towards helping to pay costs related to Jacob’s care. Why a guitar night?
“Everyone we know is very musical,” explains McCarville. “Jacob even has his own little guitar.”
Hearing the word guitar’, Jacob strikes up an air guitar pose. “I play bass.” His mother smiles.
“He’s my rock star,” she says.
Shawn McLeod who organized the music event agrees that Jacob is one special little boy.
“Jacob is confused as to what is happening and takes all the tests like a trooper,” McLeod says. “Our goal is to stop at nothing (to help the family) until the specialist can find out what is wrong with him. Please help us help Jacob.”
There are three judges in three categories in the Guitar Wars event: technical, artistic and entertainment. Anyone who plays guitar is welcome to come out.
Meanwhile McCarville is trying to give Jacob, who is on a daily regime of medication, as normal a life as possible. But until they find out more about the cause of Jacob’s seizures and if they are likely to recur the Prince George mother says family outings are difficult.
“It’s been hard taking him out in public because we never know if he’s going to have more seizures. So we can’t go very far.”
The Guitar Wars event is on Sept. 15 at the Westwood Pub. Event starts at 7 p.m. with half-time show by Bushwacker from Whitehorse. A $15 cover charge includes the show and first drink, plus entry ticket to win a 4Wheeler. For more details or to register for Guitar Wars phone Shawn at 250-961-1822.