Child with Epilepsy

Child with Epilepsy

Date Posted:
August 2009

A student wrote to Rinpoche asking for advice about her daughter, who has epilepsy. Her letter and Rinpoche’s reply are reproduced below.

Student: Our newborn daughter has been diagnosed with a serious illness. Last Monday, a friend of ours, who is a doctor, noticed that our daughter had a strange spasm, with a strange eye movement. I thought it was a reaction to stomach pains, so common among newborns. To reassure our friend, the day after, we took our daughter to the hospital for a check. The doctors decided to do an electroencephalogram. An hour afterwards, the neurologist told us that she suffers from West Syndrome, an infantile epilepsy that manifests with spasms. Each spasm is an epileptic seizure—a series of uncontrolled movements caused by excess of the normal electrical activity of the brain. It is a rare illness and each case varies from child to child in terms of consequences for the physical and cerebral development, which can be light or very severe. She is currently under treatment, which has side effects, and makes her seem as if she is far away from us. She has been submitted to so many examinations: brain scanning, metabolism, and so on, but, so far, the doctors cannot find a cause for her epilepsy. Organically, everything seems OK with her. However, the doctors want to do more exams, as they think that West Syndrome can be the sign of some other more serious neurological dysfunctioning.

Dear Lama Zopa Rinpoche, all this has happened so quickly and so strongly. My friend and I are in shock. We do not know what to do, what to think. We see how desperate we are in front of such suffering, in front of the suffering of our child. We would very much appreciate it if you could give us your advice to help our daughter.

Rinpoche's Response

Dear one,
I have checked a number of times, and the situation with your daughter does not look easy.

There is one lama here who may be able to help by doing a puja for her, but she needs to be at the puja. This means the lama goes to your house, or you come here. I am sure either way is not easy. I can’t guarantee it will work but in the mo it looks good. Also, with pujas, you can’t instantly expect a recovery, as partly it is to do with spirit interference, so it takes a little time, but gradually there is improvement.

The puja to be done is called ga gön, and has to be done seven times. In my mo it does make a difference who does the puja.

You need one Golden Light Drum text in each room of your house (in a respectful place), so I will mail you that text. I only have one copy, so please make copies and then place one in each room of your house.

It seems there is a naga harming her, as well a physical condition. It also seems there may be a little bit of a heart condition. In eight hours’ time a lama will do the pujas mentioned before, he said he can do them from a distance, and then tomorrow night I will check again how it looks.

The lama said the little girl looks like a "fortunate one" and this disease will over time gradually decrease.

He is asking this of you: Close the door on the eastern side of the house. He says there seems to be a pond or water that side of the house. So, keep this door closed tomorrow morning. It seems that is where the naga is situated. The door between the south and west should be open.

The pujas will last about one hour.