Back In The Game


 
Chandler Roberds was only in the seventh grade when he began experiencing the lost moments that signaled the onset of epilepsy. In the ninth grade, the promising young wide receiver from Mobile was sidelined from football when a serious seizure struck him during practice.

"At one point, I was taking ten pills a day, but I was still having problems," Roberds said. "I couldn't play ball. I wasn't going to be able to drive, and I wasn't sure what kind of future I would have."

After medications failed to control his seizures, Roberds was referred to Kirsten Riley, MD at the UAB Epilepsy Center to see if surgery might be the answer.

"About 95% of me wanted to have the surgery, and 5% was a little afraid. But I had to try," Roberds said. "I had about every scan known to man, and then they put in electrodes so they could watch while I was having a seizure to see where it was starting."

In Roberds case, the problem was cortical dysplasia, which was a bit more difficult to find, but was located with invasive monitoring.

"The electrodes were not a lot of fun, but it was worth it," Roberds said. "I had my surgery in April of last year, and I was out of the hospital in just a couple of days.

I haven't had a seizure since. I tried to talk Dr Riley into letting me play football last year, but she said I needed more time to heal. Then I asked again last summer, and she finally said it was up to me, but to be careful, and I am."

Roberds says it's been a good season for his team at UMS-Wright prep school. "The best part of the season so far was a game where I scored two touchdowns against a good team."

He is looking forward to graduating and going to college next fall. "When I get to Auburn, studying will come first. I want to be an architect, or maybe an engineer."

Looking back, would he do it all again?

"Yes. I've grown through this experience. My friends and family have been so supportive," he said. "My life is so much better. I'm doing the things I love. Now I can be whatever I want to be."

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