New treatment helps Ole Miss student with seizures live normal life

A groundbreaking treatment against seizures is helping one Ole Miss student live a normal life.

Posted: Feb 19, 2018 12:00 AM
Updated: Feb 19, 2018 12:53 AM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - A groundbreaking treatment against seizures is helping one Ole Miss student live a normal life.

The treatment is called Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy. Maggie Bushway, 21, is the first in Mississippi to successfully use the newest generation.

At 7-years-old, Bushway was diagnosed with brain cancer and epilepsy. She has been cancer free since her ninth birthday, but her seizures became much worse. Bushway says she would have hundreds a day. Then, she was in and out of the hospital until she was 12, and that is when her life changed at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

"They were thinking about doing a surgery where they turn off half of my brain and they decided to do the VNS instead," said Bushway. "It was a last minute decision."

A last minute decision that would give Bushway the chance to live a more independent life.

"I went to the neurologist a couple weeks ago and with this new technology, he is able to see how many seizures I've had and in the middle of the night like when I'm sleeping," said Bushway. "It stopped at least 10 seizures inn the few weeks that I had it."

VNS Therapy is a device that connects to the vagus nerve, a nerve that connects the brain to the body.

“The device will give a little extra stimulus to hopefully abort this from developing into a full time seizure,” says Dr. Louis Rosa III at the North Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Rosa surgically implanted Bushway's VNS device. He knows first hand how successful this treatment can be; his son uses a different generation of VNS Therapy.

Recently, Bushway opened doors for those in Mississippi and even around the world.

"She’s the first one to have that new device which has been approved by the FDA in the end of 2017,” says Dr. Rosa.

Since the implantation of the device, Bushway rediscovered her passion for storytelling and film making.

“Alot of my characters have disabilities or emotional problems that they’re dealing with and I like people to relate to my characters and see that there’s hope,” says Bushway.

The VNS device allows Bushway to live on her own as a student at Ole Miss.

"I was pretty close to dying and we would do anything at that point," says Bushway. "The VNS was kind of like a miracle for us."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 147382

Reported Deaths: 3763
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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