Three days passed without incident. But then while at school, James suddenly fell and had his first of many seizures.
“I regained consciousness and found myself at the teachers’ lounge. There were teachers circled around me trying to perform an exorcism. They thought I was possessed. I was really embarrassed,” says James.
After he regained consciousness, his father took him back to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with epilepsy. But the medication they gave him did not lessen his seizures, and soon he was having up to three seizures in a day.
“I tried to be around him as much as I could. I walked him to school and picked him up after. I wanted to be there in case he had a seizure. I remember one night he had a very bad seizure; I thought for sure he was going to die,” says Stanslaus.
Stanslaus consulted with the staff at the Compassion center where his son attended. Together, they decided to take James to another, larger hospital. There, he had his first MRI. According to the doctor, the hit to the head made James' brain unstable. He was given medication and again sent home. But James’ condition grew steadily worse.
James no longer had the simple joy of playing with his friends without the fear of having a seizure. His parents were on constant alert, always ready to rush to their son. It was a life filled with fear, even more so for his parents. James had come to terms with his illness, and the strength exuding from the young man was what gave his parents hope.
"Since the seizures started, there has not been a day that I felt sorry for myself or felt bad because I was sick. I knew it would pass, because God had seen me through other battles,” says James.
For over a decade, James battled and prayed — and every step of the way he knew he had his parents and the Compassion staff to support him. When he had his third MRI in 2018, the scan showed he had a cerebral polyp on his brain as a result of the trauma from the accident. James needed surgery — but none of the hospitals in the country were equipped to do it.
“The neurosurgeon who diagnosed James told us we had to travel to India for surgery,” says Stanslaus. “I did not have the money to take James there, but I was not worried. Since James got sick, it was the church that had been paying for his trips to the hospital.”
Through Compassion's Critical Interventions fund, the local church received the U.S. $26,598 needed for James’ life-changing treatment.