ON JUNE 22 OF THIS YEAR I woke up seven hours after being put under anesthesia. I had a big incision on the right side of my head, and my parents and a team of neurosurgeons were standing around me. My right hippocampus was no longer in my brain. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was three years old, and this surgery was performed in the hopes that the site and source of the seizures was this brain structure, and its removal would prevent further seizures.
My seizures have varied throughout my life, sometimes only occasional, other times more frequent, sometimes less-involved Partial seizures, other times more severe Grand Mal. I’ve gone for long stretches of time without any seizures, but when I came off the medicine, they would return. After going through five different medications, each being unsuccessful in completely curing me, my doctor told me that what was happening in my brain– hoppocampul sclerosis– could usually never be permanently controlled by medicine. She posed the idea of neruosurgery, and after much fasting and prayer, we dicided that would be the best option for me.
I will never forget the night before my surgery. My dad gave me a blessing before I went to bed, but I was still very nervous. I was reading in Alma at the time, and that night I read chapter 14, which contained one of the most comforting, inspiring scriptures I’ve ever read. Alma ad Amulek are in prison, and Amulek says “Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.” Alma then responds, “Be it according to the will of the Lord. But behold, our work here is not finished; therefore they burn us not.” I was amazed at the incredible faither Alma showed right then. As I read it, I was filled with the love of my Father in Heaven, and I was at peace.
The surgeon told me I would be in bed, exhausted and unable to walk for about six weeks. I was up after three. I had countless prayers offered in my behalf, and as I recovered, i thought about the overwhelming amount of blessings I’ve been given. I was “amazed at the love Jesus offers me, and confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me.” I have so much to give back! After coming home from teh hospital, I was suddenly very missionary-minded and determined to serve. I had always wanted to go, but it was then that I realized that I absolutely needed to. It is for that very reason that I decided to come to BYU Hawaii– to prepare to serve a full-time mission for the Lord. I now that because of what I’ve received, I need to return it by serving others. Alma and Amulek still had missonary work to do, and so do I. My work here is not finished, and that is why my surgery was successful and why I’m here today. Alma inspired me, and I’m now prepared to go forward with faith, always believing.
Oh, and I might add that my teacher wrote, “Wonderful essay!” at the bottom. I just wanted to say that. And I also want to say that the testing center is FREEZING.