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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: 312926

Reported Deaths: 7226
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21474257
Hinds20271414
Harrison17796309
Rankin13561278
Jackson13404246
Madison10062217
Lee9961173
Jones8364163
Forrest7644152
Lauderdale7178240
Lowndes6366144
Lamar621286
Lafayette6168118
Washington5322133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha461198
Panola4556105
Pearl River4494145
Marshall4396103
Warren4376121
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4094133
Union408876
Neshoba4024176
Lincoln3947110
Hancock377086
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332384
Pike3294105
Scott315273
Alcorn311568
Yazoo310669
Itawamba299377
Copiah296065
Simpson294488
Coahoma294279
Tippah287668
Prentiss279360
Marion268780
Adams266082
Leake265573
Wayne262341
Grenada260186
Covington256381
George246748
Newton245961
Winston226881
Tishomingo225567
Jasper220848
Attala214173
Chickasaw207157
Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone181833
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun169832
Yalobusha163336
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125838
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104726
Claiborne102230
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95328
Franklin83423
Quitman80016
Choctaw76018
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530011

Reported Deaths: 10946
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763591519
Mobile40875804
Madison34676503
Tuscaloosa25717451
Montgomery24308585
Shelby23389248
Baldwin21093307
Lee15844169
Calhoun14481313
Morgan14281279
Etowah13813353
Marshall12203222
Houston10553280
Elmore10036205
Limestone9952150
Cullman9647193
St. Clair9634239
Lauderdale9413241
DeKalb8821185
Talladega8210175
Walker7222277
Autauga6914108
Jackson6803111
Blount6645136
Colbert6291134
Coffee5503118
Dale4826111
Russell440038
Chilton4263111
Franklin425482
Covington4120117
Tallapoosa4006152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3544151
Clarke350861
Marion3111100
Pike310177
Lawrence299898
Winston273772
Bibb260463
Marengo249164
Geneva248777
Pickens233760
Barbour230757
Hale222577
Butler215869
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184345
Randolph179941
Monroe177040
Washington167039
Macon158650
Clay155956
Crenshaw151957
Cleburne148741
Lamar141834
Lowndes138553
Wilcox127029
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
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