Many of the 2.5 million Americans who have epilepsy suffer needlessly because they simply don't know about a little-known surgery that can free them from their medications and seizures.
Rachel Kreidler's epilepsy kept her a prisoner in her own home. She couldn't drive and was afraid to be around people for fear of having a seizure.
"It was rough," she told CBN News.
Kreidler tried all kinds of medicines that caused terrible side effects and didn't even work. Then she heard about epilepsy surgery.
"Epilepsy surgery can help many people who have been taking medicine all their lives and are continuing to seize and not being able to participate in life," Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeon Dr. William Bingaman said.
Bingaman has been performing the surgery for the past 15 years. It involves finding the spot in the brain where the seizures originate and cutting it out.
"From a personality standpoint, we've all seen movies where people have frontal lobectomies and frontal lobotomies and they're never quite the same," Bingaman said. "It's really not like that with this type of surgery."
Although epilepsy surgery has a high success rate, to the patient, the idea is daunting, to say the least.
"I talked to God daily throughout the 10-plus years of having seizures and came to a point where I really felt I heard him say, 'Now's the time to have the surgery.' So it gave me the courage to move forward with something so incredibly scary," Kreidler recalled.
Now she's glad she did. Her seizures stopped, she's off her medicine, and lives a normal life. She drives and even went on a mission trip to Africa.
"It will be, as of this February, two years," Kreidler said. "And two years now that I've been seizure free, praise God!"
For people with epilepsy whose medicine isn't working, epilepsy surgery is a little-known option that could stop their seizures and help them live more normal lives.