Memorial walk planned for Argos woman

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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ARGOS, Ind. (WNDU) - Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that doesn’t have a cure. It can cause frightening seizures, temporary confusion and in rare cases, death.

Surrounded by laughter and loved ones, Erin Edwards celebrated special moments that are now precious memories.

“Erin was 20. She had the bubbliest personality. (She) loved to make everybody laugh. Help everyone,” said Karen DeMont, Erin’s mother.

It came as a huge shock to family and friends that Erin, a healthy and active college kid, was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Her first seizure happened at a bridal shower she attended with her mom last summer.

“She had a seizure. A full-blown seizure,” said DeMont. “Scared me to death. Thank God there were women there who knew what to do. Because I’d never seen one.”

Erin spent some time in the emergency room with careful instructions of what to look for.

But another seizure happened at home in Argos the very next week.

“To where she’s looking at me but can’t get words out to me,” said DeMont. “We got into the doctor. We had a great team of doctors. Neurologists. We had all of it under control before she went to school in August.”

Erin was a sophomore at Franklin College. When the school shut down last fall due to Covid, her dad picked her up and she stayed at his place in Plymouth.

“We talked every day. Nothing was wrong. Nothing,” said DeMont.

Until October 7, 2020.

“She had a big History test that morning,” said DeMont. “All day, she was fine. She was going to take a nap.”

Sadly, that evening, her father found her. She was already gone.

“He went to get her for dinner,” said DeMont quietly. “She had had a seizure in her sleep.”

Doctors have a name for the sudden, fatal event: SUDEP.

“Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. There’s no rhyme or reason. Happens in their sleep,” said DeMont. “(They) have a seizure and it’s like the brain just shuts down.”

SUDEP can happen if the patient doesn’t take their medicine. But Erin never missed a dose.

“She took her medicine at 7:55 in the morning and 7:55 at night. Like clockwork,” said DeMont.

Karen and her family are working through their grief together and are planning a walk at the Argos Community Park to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation.

“I want to do it every August. Erin’s birthday is in August,” explained DeMont.

The goal is to help others understand the mysterious condition that took Erin’s life.

“Something positive. Because she was never negative. She would not want me to be. It’s hard not to be,” said DeMont. “Everyone misses her. Her personality. She was a jokester. She always liked to have fun.”

The Walk for a Cure Fundraiser for Epilepsy will take place on August 7 at 10am at Argos Community Park. All of the money raised will go to the Epilepsy Foundation for research and awareness programs.

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