My name is Melissa and I lost my husband, Bret (age 47) to SUDEP on June 14, 2015. Bret was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 6 months and lived with grand mal seizures his entire life. He was well controlled on medication but had breakthrough seizures due to alcohol use. He learned how to manage his life around epilepsy and his lifestyle. We met, married and had 3 beautiful children together, now a 9-year-old daughter and 7 year-old twin boys. Last year Brets older brother succumbed to alcohol addiction and lost his life at the age of 51. Bret began drinking more and having grand mals every 30 days. After 8 months of binge drinking and frequent seizures, I contacted his epileptologist to help him but the Dr only counseled Bret to minimize his drinking. Unfortunately, Bret didn't know how. His father also died from alcohol addiction at age 42. SUDEP was never mentioned even though Bret's seizures had increased dramatically. Bret binged less than 48 hours before having a massive grand mal seizure and taking his last breath. He leaves behind a wife and 3 young children without any answers as to how this could happen. Why didn't the Dr warn him? Why didn't the Dr answer my pleas for help? Bret did not know a seizure could kill him. Perhaps he would have made different choices had he realized this fact. After he passed, Bret's mother contacted the epileptologist to notify him and he flatly stated that it was probably SUDEP. This was the first time that we had heard this term.
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