Following a Mom and Son on Their Incredible Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet (Audio)

The Ketogenic diet- now gaining popularity and recognition for seizure control and for even curing epilepsy- is an effective and increasingly used treatment in children. Although it is being respected for its effectiveness, it is often offered to parents as a last resort, only after medications and even surgeries fail.

This episode of the EpilepsyMoms podcast follows one mother’s discovery of an invaluable resource, which led to her recent implementation of the diet for her son, and his astonishing results.

Experienced “epilepsy mom” Arlene Martell, having made it her mission to save other families from her experiences, is dedicated to educating other moms and dads in similar situations. Her son Adam endured many, many years of sedating medications, which affected his personality, his learning and his behaviour, while not succeeding in seizure control.  After finding a “miracle” in the Ketogenic diet, Arlene understood the importance of bringing awareness of this treatment to other parents, as one of the first lines of treatment, not as a last resort.  Her emotional true story, “Getting Adam back… A Mother’s Triumph Over Epilepsy And Autism” is now reaching grateful parents all over the world. One such parent is mom, Kim Duprey.

In this interview, Kim discusses how her son’s life was changed forever when she came across Arlene’s personal story. Kim’s son Austin had been developing on schedule as a typical 10 month old, when he unexpectedly became overcome by seizures, often too numerous to count.  Kim describes how shocked she and her husband were by Austin’s epilepsy, and that it devastated their family, turning their world upside down. As she recalls “even the whole nature of our child changed…. the stress-free days were over”.

Kim Duprey reading to her son Austin

Kim Duprey reading to her son Austin

Over the next 14 months, Kim and her husband put their faith in the doctors whom they felt would offer them only the best advice. Trying to gain seizure control, little Austin was subjected to 6 different seizure medications. With sadness, Kim describes how their sedating effects caused Austin to be “just like a little zombie baby”, and how heartbreaking it was to see him miserable, crying, even falling down and injuring himself. Each new medication seemed to cause Austin to regress more, and Kim missed things that so many mothers take for granted, like a clear-headed child who recognizes his mother when she enters the room.

With the doctors’ suggestion for brain surgery on the table, Kim sought other answers for young Austin. Through her online research, she discovered Arlene’s account of her son’s epilepsy, and the great control the Ketogenic diet offered to Adam. Being drawn to the similarities of the stories, Kim followed her gut feeling and chose this method of treatment for her son. Although at the time of this interview Austin had only been on the diet for 3 weeks, they were seeing amazing results- Austin went from having 70-90 seizures the first day of the diet to none in only 6 days, and has been seizure free the past 15 days.

Arlene and Kim discuss very “real” issues that parents in this situation face, such as:

  • the emotional toll of seizures and medications on the child and family
  • frustrations with doctors for not offering this treatment as an alternative to medications earlier, or even first
  • how the diet appears complicated and intimidating, but doesn’t have to be with organization
  • implementing the diet successfully, including tips for how to simplify preparation
  • offering recommended resources, including a recipe book

Due to Austin’s great response to the diet, Kim describes the changes they already see- he is happier, smiling, sleeping better, and is “like a different kid”. No longer clouded by medications and seizures, she sees new abilities coming out in him each day. But, it is the tone of her voice as she speaks- the relief and the excitement of a mother just recently getting her child back and getting to know him as a clearheaded two year old- that is most powerful. One of the best parts of this miracle, is that since being seizure free, Austin has just started to say “mom”.

For more information on the Ketogenic diet and what it could do for your child, please listen to this podcast, as well as Arlene’s interview with famous Hollywood producer and “epilepsy dad”, Jim Abrahams, click here!

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About James Martell