December 5, 2013

Port Kent 4-year-old suffers from epilepsy

PORT KENT — On Christmas Day 2011, Eddie and Angie Sussdorff raced their 2-year-old son to the hospital after he experienced a seizure in his car seat.

Brodie was unresponsive, which doctors later identified as a tonic-clonic seizure that affects the entire brain, common for people with epilepsy.

At the time, Angie was pregnant with her son Elliott, who is now 20 months old. 

Almost two years later, 4-year-old Brodie has had just one seizure over the course of 100 days, though the cause of his epilepsy has not been found, even after a spinal tap, genetic tests and blood work. 

“We had a normal pregnancy. There were no complications,” Angie said.

At 6 months old, Brodie had febrile seizures but doctors brushed them off, she said. 


Since the tonic-clonic seizure, Brodie has been to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington and has spent months at the Albany Medical College.

“The Ronald McDonald House in Albany was fantastic,” Angie said.

Brodie was having around 200 seizures a day, and some would cause him to fall to the ground or hit his head on the table.

“It was pretty unnerving,” Angie said. 

The Sussdorffs weren’t satisfied with the outcomes at those two hospitals but eventually found a doctor they liked at Boston Children’s Hospital. 

They travel to Boston every three months, but the doctors are out of their network, and the family pays out of pocket for the visits. 


After much trial and error, Brodie is now on several medications and supplements, along with a modified Atkins diet, which means that he can’t eat any carbohydrates. 

Soon after starting the diet in January, he went 100 days without a seizure. His most recent one came on Sunday, just as he was reaching another 100-day mark.

Up until the one on Christmas Day 2011, Brodie was developmentally on par with his peers. Now with a 20-month delay, his speech has been affected.

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