Thanks to Padua Senior Brynn Fassano's service initiative, all faculty, staff, and students completed Seizure Recognition and First Aid Certification on January 4th. Brynn, inspired by her mother's discussions about Seizure Safe School Laws, proposed the idea over the summer. Initially suggesting a presentation by Padua Alumna Val Budischak, Executive Director of EFDC, to Freshman health classes, the concept evolved into a school-wide certification course. Brynn, motivated by personal connections to epilepsy, recognized the importance of addressing this topic in school. Thank you Brynn & Val for not only raising awareness but also providing basic skills for dealing with seizures.
Brynn hopes Padua's involvement will encourage other schools to implement seizure training courses, support EFDE's mission, and advocate for Seizure Safe School Laws in Delaware. Below is a copy of the introduction Brynn gave to the student body and staff prior to the certification:
"In America, 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetime. Over 10 years ago when my sister was a student at Padua Academy, she was best friends with a girl who had epilepsy since childhood. Unfortunately, in January of her junior year at Padua, she died in her sleep Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, or SUDEP, a condition that is not fully understood by medical professionals. It is possible that she had experienced seizures in the very halls we walk everyday, which, as a bystander, can be a difficult situation to experience without proper training and understanding.
Last year, my mother began working for the Epilepsy Foundation of Delaware, which works to spread seizure awareness throughout the state. The Foundation also advocates for Seizure Safe School Laws, which require all school staff to be seizure first aid certified in case of an emergency. Currently, the state of Delaware does not mandate this. I quickly realized this was an issue that I must bring attention to at Padua.
In today’s first aid training session, we as a school community will be taking important steps to integrate seizure training in Delaware schools, just as others have done before. It is important to receive seizure first aid training because approximately 1 in 10 people will experience a seizure in their lifetime, regardless if they are diagnosed with epilepsy or not. Expectantly, bystanders do not always understand how to help, and oftentimes, cannot detect the symptoms. There are also many common misconceptions involving seizures, such as the proper time to seek medical assistance. Seizure first aid training can be an important skill to have, whether you are in school, at home, or anywhere else in public.
I would like to introduce and thank Val Budischak, a fellow Padua sister, who is the executive director of EFDE. I am very happy that she is able to come in today to provide us with the opportunity to complete an epilepsy first aid certification course. I hope you learn some valuable information that you can take forward in the future." Written by Brynn Fassano '24