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House- and Heart-Warming

July 25, 2012

Patty and Captain Pat Horan

After all that Pat and Patty Horan have sacrificed for this country, it is indeed heartwarming to see yesterday’s news.  Pat and Patty have been friends of mine and CURE’s  ever since they appeared in our 60 Minutes segment in October 2009 to speak courageously about how challenging and devastating the seizures that resulted from Pat’s head injury in Iraq were to his recovery and well-being.

Please take the time to read their story of sacrifice, heartbreak, and determination, and re-watch their story on 60 Minutes. In these days, where heroes often don’t get the attention they deserve, I was really touched to see all the media attention to their new home in McLean, VA yesterday and the good folks who reached out to make it happen for them.

Check out the great press:

CBS DC Channel 9
ABC DC Channel 7
NBC DC Channel 4

For some reason that I haven’t yet figured out, many of our wounded warriors with head injuries are reticent to speak publicly about their resulting epilepsy.  We know, from a study of Vietnam War Veterans, that 50% with penetrating head injury went on to develop epilepsy (called Post-Traumatic Epilepsy or PTE).  We don’t yet know how much PTE we will be seeing from our most recent battles, but we do know that brain injury has been the signature wound, and that often the seizures do not manifest themselves until sometimes many years after the injury.

CURE has had targeted research programs in the Prevention of Epilepsy after Traumatic Brain Injury with the Department of Defense–but much, much more needs to be done.  The VA has established Epilepsy Centers of Excellence to support these individuals and their families, and–we hope–to begin to gather the data we need that will help inform future research efforts into prevention, better therapies, and cures.  We hope this program will continue to expand, as we know the need is growing.

So, I know you all join me in wishing Pat and Patty our very warmest wishes and the best of luck in their new home.  We hope it brings them all the happiness and peace they deserve, and thank them for their heroism and their courage.  We’ve  seen just a morsel of it in their willingness to speak out about epilepsy–on TV, in the press, in public testimonies… and we know it goes well beyond that and is truly immeasurable and inspiring.

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