Joy O’Meara said her son Jamison was absolutely perfect when he was born nearly four years ago. But soon things changed.
It was “July 2010 and my sweet boy had his first seizure, and life as we knew it was changed forever,” Joy, currently of Trumbull and formerly of Shelton, said in an email. “We had no idea what was in store for all of us.”
Jamison was diagnosed with epilepsy and autism and his illness has been a struggle for his family. His mother had to leave her job to take better care of him. The bills have been piling up, and the search to find him help is extensive.
That’s when friends of the family came to help.
“His parents do whatever they can to make things better for him,” said Lainie Willis. “It’s just been getting worse and worse.”
Soon, the family has to go to a hospital in Rhode Island for a new treatment, and stay in a hotel while Jamison gets treatment. This means his father Dermot will have to take time off from work, and the stay could be two months to six months.
Jamison doesn’t react well to medications, Lainie said, so doctors have to make sure he will be safe.
“It’s so heartbreaking,” said Lainie.
A fund-raiser has been set at www.giveforward.com under Jamison’s Smile. The site has been posted on many social media sites to help gain support for the family.
That first seizure wouldn’t be his last. Jamison had “many many more, and all different types,” Joy said. “The regression that immediately started was by far my worst nightmare. My sweet boy didn’t know me or his sister Jada or his daddy that he adored.”
Jamison lost his speech he had gained and “became lost in his own world,” said Joy.
During the first few months the O’Mearas went all over to find out what was wrong with their son. They found doctors they adored at the Children’s Hospital in Boston.
Joy said Jamison “received amazing care” at Children’s Hospital. But the family would get another blow.
When your child has a seizure — a bad one — you think you’re going to lose them. Every second seems like an eternity.”
He was diagnosed with epilepsy, and another diagnosis was on the way.
“Shortly after his first hospital stay Jamison was diagnosed with autism as well. That was a hard day,” Joy said. “I should have known but I didn’t.”
That just wasn’t the case.
The hospitalizations and medications haven’t worked to help subdue his seizures. They sometimes go away for a little while, but come back “with a vengeance,” Joy said.
“When your child has a seizure — a bad one — you think you’re going to lose them,” she said. “Every second seems like an eternity. Last year Jamison started having drop seizures and needs to always wear a helmet and uses a special stroller when he’s out of the house.
“I hate these seizures. They are quick, but he can slam his head or fall,” Joy said. “Sometimes I’m driving and I look back at him and his head’s just hanging. Everytime it happens, I panic and think the worst.”
Finding a way to go on
“Jamison is an amazing little boy that struggles daily,” Joy said. “He will find a way to laugh anyway he can — his smile is infectious.”
Recently, he was having a bad day when they put on a video to watch of a family friend swimming. Jamison burst out laughing.
“He gave me a reason to smile a sigh of relief for the day he was going to be OK,” said Joy. “We currently can’t leave the house — it’s very hard on my boy.
“He needs help and I’m determined to find it,” said Joy. “I don’t want to change the world. I don’t expect him to have a perfect life. He just deserves a chance to live life to be happy. We are looking for the best treatments.”