Watson was a healthy baby and at 18 months, for no known reason, he began having seizures. Watson was diagnosed with idiopathic Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and devastating form of epilepsy. His health rapidly deteriorated and he was soon having 20 to 30 seizures a day. He lost his ability to speak; he had tremors and could no longer feed himself or walk without falling. Side effects from his medications left him exhausted and unaware. He was fitted for a protective helmet and needed a harness for bathing.
Without seizure control, his prognosis was bleak. We made the choice for surgery and Watson received a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. With a 33% chance of success, we asked what else we could do. His neurologist simply said, “Pray.”
Thirteen months after his surgery, Watson’s seizures stopped! However, thousands of uncontrolled seizures and several powerful medications left him with significant developmental delays.
Watson needed life skills support, but he also needed an education and an opportunity to develop socially. We wanted to provide Watson with an inclusive school that had a competent and compassionate special needs program. During our search, we found that no other school could offer us the exceptional benefits of the St. Anthony School Programs.
Watson has made incredible progress. Ten years ago, doctors were doubtful that Watson would overcome his delays. Now, Watson is able to read, play the drums, and he plays on a Miracle League baseball team. He loves all sports and is passionate about sports trivia.
Watson is happy at St. Therese School and is able to work at his own pace in a very loving but disciplined environment. He has great friends, outstanding teachers, and is looking forward to Serra High School. We are incredibly impressed by the teachers, staff, students, and parents. Having such a wonderful and unique program in Pittsburgh is a blessing and we are truly thankful.