When I was a toddler, I had my first seizure. Of course, I don't remember it, but I do remember my childhood stuffed animal. I wouldn't even part with the ratty thing for four hours when I started preschool. So, when I asked my mom if she remembered where it came from, I was pleasantly surprised by the story.
I can't remember any of this because I was too young. However, my mom tells me that following my first two seizures in 2002, the neurologist scheduled an MRI. My parents drove me to hospital for a 7AM admission, and couldn't feed me anything because I had to undergo anesthesia and stay overnight. After the procedure was over and I was waking up, a man came to visit us in post-op. He'd been back in neurology with his mother getting her testing done, and he saw me go in, get prepped, and come back out. He decided to go down to the gift shop and buy me a stuffed dog while his mother and I had our testing done. He called me a trooper for being so brave.
A quote from my mom:
"I don't even think he had kids of his own…I just kind of got that feeling about him. He was quiet and shy. But I will never forget when he came over and gave it to us. It was such a sweet thing to do."
It goes to show that a little goes a long way. I clutched that dog during every seizure I ever had as a kid. It followed me out to the tree on Christmas mornings and out to the couch on lazy Sundays. I took it along to my first EEG, to my first day of kindergarten, and to sleep every night. I brought it outside to play with my younger brother, and cuddled it as I stayed up past my bedtime, my nose buried in books. The dog listened as I shared with it all the petty problems of childhood, about boys, friends, and grades. It'd always been there for me, through the good, the bad, and the ugly. It still sits at home on my bed today.
A stranger I've never even met has taught me a valuable life lesson: if you have the chance to touch someone's life with kindness, you should take it. Only good can come from it.
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