Lettie Bradford is a very young 72, she walks two miles every day and keeps her grandson four days a week. After living most of her life with epilepsy she has spent the last decade seizure free and not taking a second for granted.
Lettie had been dealing with seizures for over 45 years, with her first seizure occurring at age 15. Medications helped, but they never cured her and she continued to suffer from seizures.
Despite this, she did her best to lead a normal life. She graduated high school in Baton Rouge, went to LSU, got married and had a daughter. Though Lettie was able to do the things she loved most, she was also still experiencing the often-debilitating seizures.
“It was a different time back then, people had no idea what they were seeing and I spent more time out of school than in, but my parents never let me give up. I am so thankful for that. It’s the only reason I am still here,” says Lettie.
When her daughter was old enough to start school, Lettie took a job as the office manager of a small insurance agency in Gonzales. She worked there for over twenty years and she loved her job.
Unfortunately, the traditional medications for epilepsy quit working as well and her seizures became more frequent and severe. Soon she was challenged with even the simplest tasks, such as reading. And at age 60, after more than 30 years at her job, she was forced to retire.
She would not be beat, so she and her doctor started talking about her options and she underwent temporal lobe resection surgery. “I refused to accept that I had made it this far to quit at 60! I told the doctor I would do whatever I needed to, I wasn’t going down with out a fight,” Lettie says.
The surgery was a success and to this day, she is seizure free.
As soon as Lettie was back on her feet, she and her husband took their grandson to Disney World for what she says was “the best vacation ever.” It’s the first time in decades that they were able to enjoy a vacation without a single seizure.
“I’ve feel like a teenager again,” Lettie says, “I’ve been given a second chance. What would have happened if I had given up? I would have missed out on my FIRST rollercoaster at 62!” Her next adventure is New York City with her grandson this Christmas and she promises there are many more come!