• Neurology Patient Stories

    Surgery puts an end to life-limiting epilepsy seizures

Melissa Bruesehoff with her familyMelissa Bruesehoff is a wife, mother, teacher and church council member — titles that for many years she couldn't imagine claiming. Bruesehoff was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 4 years old, and complications from the condition prevented her from experiencing many things that most people take for granted.

"During my school and college years, extracurricular activities weren't an option," says Bruesehoff. "I struggled with learning, and at times I worked with a tutor. I spent many more hours doing homework than a usual student."

Bruesehoff began receiving care from Gregory D. Cascino, M.D., a specialist in neurology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., during her college years. Her seizures had intensified, which kept her from driving. She also had to quit her work and studies.

"Upon realizing that seizures controlled my life, I expressed to Dr. Cascino my interest in learning about the remaining treatment options," she says. Testing indicated she was a superb candidate for surgery.

"I was willing to go through neurosurgery at Mayo to overcome my unhealthy life and endless physical, mental and social limitations," says Bruesehoff, who expressed total confidence in Dr. Cascino and Fredric B. Meyer, M.D., a specialist in neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "They promised that their top priority was to take good care of me, while also helping me become seizure-free through surgical treatment."

Three months following the successful surgery, Bruesehoff received approval to drive and work. She has not had a seizure since.

"I would not be who or where I am today without such exceptional and priceless treatment," says Bruesehoff. "With the surgery, Dr. Cascino closed a window on endless seizures and opened a new one for me. I love the view from this window."