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.

Confirmed Cases: 93087

Reported Deaths: 2809
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6956155
DeSoto539355
Harrison372772
Jackson337867
Madison320086
Rankin318875
Lee258567
Jones239978
Forrest238270
Washington217471
Lafayette207239
Lauderdale1994124
Bolivar179065
Oktibbeha174750
Lamar162134
Neshoba1534103
Panola144027
Sunflower141144
Lowndes139857
Warren138050
Leflore136280
Pontotoc122516
Pike120948
Monroe118365
Scott116125
Copiah115933
Coahoma112327
Holmes109158
Marshall107515
Lincoln106253
Grenada105335
Yazoo103629
Simpson101243
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91736
Wayne87421
Pearl River86250
Marion84133
Prentiss80817
Covington80622
Alcorn76811
Newton75623
Itawamba75221
Tallahatchie74918
George74413
Winston72319
Tishomingo65737
Chickasaw65224
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57117
Hancock56121
Jasper54915
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52114
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45420
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41614
Perry40617
Humphreys37315
Quitman3735
Stone35011
Greene34317
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Amite31210
Carroll31212
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2399
Benton2181
Franklin1893
Choctaw1785
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18911337
Mobile13039289
Montgomery8628173
Madison750775
Tuscaloosa7180114
Lee570559
Shelby564550
Baldwin504749
Marshall382143
Etowah333447
Calhoun332039
Morgan318126
Houston269922
Elmore251947
DeKalb234619
St. Clair221335
Walker220780
Talladega205026
Limestone197319
Cullman183017
Franklin174128
Dallas173626
Russell17112
Autauga167324
Lauderdale164133
Colbert159326
Escambia155725
Blount154214
Jackson149411
Chilton147127
Dale132743
Covington130227
Coffee12708
Pike11519
Tallapoosa113183
Chambers112342
Clarke104917
Marion93728
Butler90838
Barbour8307
Marengo69919
Winston69912
Lowndes64527
Pickens63114
Bibb62810
Hale61228
Randolph60712
Bullock58514
Lawrence58220
Monroe5758
Geneva5634
Cherokee55516
Washington54413
Perry5376
Clay5367
Wilcox53011
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52231
Macon47620
Henry4674
Fayette4189
Sumter41819
Lamar3452
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3206
Greene30015
Coosa1613
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