I am nothing but grateful

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    In 18 years I have not posted once about my struggles and today marks one year since my third and final brain surgery. In this past year I have had a total of 9 seizures and that is compare to the hundreds I used to get prior to the operations. I have been to 7 different hospitals 15 different times and had every type of testing you can imagine – MRI, EEGS, PET scans, CAT scans, blood work, memory exams – and one included even shutting down half of my brain. It really has not been an easy ride; I have many scars on my body triggered by the amount of anxiety and depression I struggled with on this journey and I now have some damage to my mental health, but no matter what I always made the best of my situation. I played games in the hospital to test my memory, which were so fun, I was given electric shocks to my brain to see how my body would react, I met so many nurses that considered me family while I was there and I met therapy dogs to cheer me up. I could not be more grateful for anything in my life and it was so comforting to discover that I was not the only one with the disorder. Epilepsy is not just a seizure, it is a disturbance and horrific feeling in the brain, and I am grateful to say that I have survived and am still pushing through all of the obstacles that these seizures have brought me and I am thankful to have had all the support and love with me while going through it. Everyone has a story and this one is mine. Always remember your not alone. I know this website is for telling your personal stories of abuse and asking for help and finding your voice, but I just want to remind people that no matter what, you can get through it. This does not mean I am cured of all depression and have no more problems but I just want to say that I love you all and cannot thank you more for everything.????

Join the Conversation


  1. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi carapressman,

    Thanks for posting again! Your story is so incredible and you are so strong for pulling through everything, especially with such a positive outlook on everything. You’re truly an inspiration 🙂 Let us know if there’s anything we can do for you! We’re here for you!


  2. lizzi

    Hey carapressman,
    Thank you for sharing this with us! You’re an inspiration for everything you’ve been through and how positive you still are after it all. I suffer with several chronic illnesses and I’ve spent a lot of time in the hospital, having surgery, getting tests done, and I know how stressful, scary, and depressing it can get. But it’s so wonderful that you’ve been able to find the positives in this… the nurses that made you feel comforted, the therapy dogs, and the support in your life from others. I’m glad that you’ve made it a year since your final brain surgery and that you’re more stable with your seizures. I wish you the best in the future and hope things continue to get better from here!

  3. snandi2 Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Thank you for sharing your journey on our website! You’re a fighter who refused to give up in the face of adversity and a true inspiration to all of us here at AVFTI. Please continue posting updates and know that we are always here for you!

  4. Shari Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Thank you for coming back to share with us. It’s always good to have you share your stories! Thank you so much for this update, this is big for you! You’ve demonstrated strength and resilience through your journey of healing. I love that you have a positive outlook despite facing adversity. I hope we can continue to encourage you to share and move forward. We will always be spectators of your recovery as well. Please continue sharing, and remember, you are an inspiration!

    Sending love and support,

  5. Monty Volunteer

    Hi Carapressman,
    Thank you for coming back on and giving us an update! That is such an incredible journey that you went through and I’m glad you are doing better! I’m also so happy to hear that you had an amazing medical staff helping you and I wish you nothing but the best!! Keep being you!
    Monty 🙂

  6. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi there Carapressman!
    Thanks so much for sharing your incredible story! I am so thrilled to hear how you made it through all those surgeries & tests! You are indeed not just a survivor, but a true fighter! I am also glad to see that you didn’t allow all that to slow you down or stop you! You’re right about everyone having a story to tell. I hope your experiences will be able to inspire someone else who might be going through the same. I like how you said no matter what your story, you are never alone! You rock! Keep on keeping on!

  7. meg Volunteer

    Hi carapressman!

    Thank you for coming back and sharing this with us. I am so happy to see how far you’ve come in your health journey and with your mental health. Your honesty and love is inspiring. You have suffered so much…to read your story of persistence and joy despite the depression and surgeries is so so heartwarming. You’re an incredible human. I am proud of you. Thank you for offering support to the AVFTI community. Know that we will always be here for you and that we love you just as much.


  8. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Carapressman,

    It’s great to have you back to share more! I’m thankful for your bravery and willingness to share more of your story with us. I had no idea you had been through so much. That is a lot of stress for anyone to bear and you made it! I’m happy that you’re celebrating one year since your third and final brain surgery. That is a huge accomplishment! You are so brave for enduring not only one but three brain surgery’s. Just the idea of one scares me, but you pushed through all of your fear and made it past three. I’m also thankful to hear that you have the support system you have, and that you’re letting people know that you’re not alone.

    I’m so glad you came here to post today, we are so proud!

  9. Lex Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Thanks for coming back to share your story with us! I am so happy for you to be done with your brain surgeries! I can’t even imagine how challenging this journey must have been for you! You are such a fighter!

    Please come back anytime to share your story with us! Stay safe!
    – Lex

  10. JWorks Volunteer

    Congratulations on your surgery and your progress! It’s so wonderful to hear about people successfully making progress on their journey to healing. Thank you so much for sharing your story and please come back and tell us how it’s going in the future!

  11. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Wow – thank you for sharing your story about your brain surgeries and your recovery. It is good to hear from you again! This is a great example of the strength that you have displayed in your life. I am happy to hear that you have had so much support around you as you have had to endure countless procedures and health conditions. Your message is a heartfelt one and I hope that all who come to this page have a chance to see it.

  12. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thanks for coming here to share your story. Even though you’re story is not related to our primary topic, that’s okay and we’re happy to be here for you too. I’m sorry for you’ve had to go through in the hospital and the frustration or confusion that may have a toll on your journey. The moments you’ve described can definitely be exhausting, so it’s great to hear that you are trying your best to be as positive as possible during the moments that might be the hardest. I think it’s also important to acknowledge your hardships, as you are, when things do get rough. Journaling can help with organizing thoughts and decompressing when things get tough and confusing or are even joyful and exciting. Entries, for example, could be similar to what you’ve posted here. Given this is your first post, we are happy to be here for you!
    Stay strong <3

  13. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there carapressman,

    You are so amazing! Thank you for sharing part of your story with us! I am sure all that you have been through have been very difficult. It shows how strong you are! I am so glad to hear you have survived all of this and inspired by your fight!

    Thank you for taking the time to show that we are all in this together, and no one here is alone.

    Sending you lots of support!

  14. Dayana143 Volunteer

    Wow Carapressmen,
    It makes me so happy that you are done with the brain surgeries. You are truly a warrior, and it makes me genuinely happy that you are in this place in your life. You are such an inspiration, and a huge light in life.
    Thank you for sharing your story with us, because you have truly inspired me. You are right, even when things are tough you can get through it. You are a prime example of that!
    Sending you a big hug <3

  15. rohina_kumar Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    You’ve had an incredible journey. And like they say, every journey has rocky potholes and hurdles we have to encounter, but you’re almost at the finish line and we’re all so very proud of where you’ve come. I cannot imagine how painful and stressful that journey must have been, but I’m also really glad you remember the happy bits – whether its playing games to test your memory, having supportive nurses and meeting therapy dogs. You are amazing for having gone through much, and still having such a positive outlook through it all. Although you still have some healing left, we’re here to support you through that no matter what. More importantly, we’re also here to celebrate how far you’ve come. You’re such an inspiration!

  16. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Wow, that is an incredible story and thank you for sharing with us. You are truly amazing .

  17. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Wow! What an incredible journey. Thank you for sharing with us. You are an inspiration!

    All the best,

  18. haesol Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Thank you for updating us! I am glad the surgeries have resulted well. You sound positive and bright despite the struggles that you’ve faced and that shows how strong you are. It’s very encouraging to read the way you’ve been dealing with this and it’s inspirational in a way that it makes one think about how everyone has their own story and issues to deal with and we are not alone in this world. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad you had a support system to help you throughout everything
    and because you felt safe and welcomed to talk about this in here.

    Stay safe,


  19. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Thank you so much for coming back with an update! Your story definitely encouraged me, and I’m sure it encouraged many others as well. You have been through so much and are amazingly strong. I’m so glad that you had support through the process, and we are always here if you ever want someone to talk to!

  20. pvb Volunteer

    Hi carapressman ,

    It seems like you have a strong soul! I am sorry you had to go through all of this and still are going through it. Some things in life we don’t expect and I bet you did not expect this. I am glad to read that you are keeping your spirits up despite everything and are sharing your positivity with the world! Many people like you are needed! I wish you the best with your health; physically and emotionally. Stay strong and thank you for sharing with us!

  21. nessa1695 Volunteer

    It’s been a whole year since your last surgery, time flys by. I’m so glad you found this community and shared with us your stories. You’re a very tough and inspirational person. I was, like many of us here, very inspired by your story. It is amazing to see how even though you’ve been through many hardships you still stand strong and want to inspire people to stay strong and get through their own hardships. Thank you for wanting to inspire us to keep going no matter how hard it gets we greatly appreciate it.
    Keep fighting. Wishing you nothing but the best 🙂

  22. Ashley Day Captain

    Thank you for opening up about what you have experienced outside of the abuse, carapressman.

    I can only imagine how challenging this journey must have been but you persevered and made it through. Since you were open to a test that entailed turning off half of your brain, I can tell that you were determined to find some relief. It’s wonderful how you found pleasure in the games, encountered nurses who you became close with, and had the opportunity to work with therapy dogs.
    We all struggle with different things and healing is possible.

    We love you too and we’ll always have your back!


  23. ceriselc Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    I know personally how scary going through multiple tests, hospital visits and surgeries can be; especially at only 18, I’m sure this must have been quite the struggle. I’m so glad to hear that your surgeries were successful, that you were able to have some positive experiences, and find strength to make that best of your situation. You sound like an incredibly resilient person. Thank you for choosing to share your story! I wish you all the best going forward!

  24. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    I’m so sorry to hear how long this process of surgeries has been for you over the last handful of years. It must be so nice to be able to look back and think about how it’s been a full year since your last surgery. You’ve come so far! It’s good to hear that you had some amazing nurses helping you along the way. You’re so right, no matter what life throws at you, you can get through it. Thank you for your positive messages!

    Stay strong,


  25. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi Carapressman,

    Thank you for sharing with us. I am sorry for what you have been throuh. You’ve been through an unimaginable amount of challenges, but it is amazing how far you have come. Your strength and resiliance are inspiring. The positivity you are sharing with us is a gift and I wish you the best. You are not alone. Please let us know how else we can help.

  26. musicislove

    Hi Carapressman,

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story with us, I’m so glad the surgeries were helpful and that the amount of seizures has gone down so significantly. I’ve had 10 brain surgeries over the last 17 years and all the tests you mentioned are definitely not fun, you’re so strong to go through all of that! Shutting down half of your brain must have been crazy, the things doctors can do are incredible. I agree nurses become family and the therapy dogs are always the best, I’m glad you had such good care going through all of that. Depression and anxiety are never easy but I’m glad you’re still pushing through everything and are so strong. I’m glad you found this site and that it’s been so beneficial for you! Sending love and support.


  27. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi carapressman,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. That was very inspirational. You are very brave and strong. I can’t imagine going to all those hospitals or having all those tests done. You have come such a long way and I’m so proud of you! Congrats on your one year and I hope that things continue to get better for you! You are amazing and I’m so glad you found AVFTI. Continue to stay strong and again thank you for sharing this with us.

  28. colton95 Volunteer

    I am sorry for all that you’ve gone through but I think it’s great that you are trying to stay positive and improve your life. I hope that your journey towards self-happiness and healing will be a relatively smooth one. Feel free to share your thoughts whenever you feel like it! We are all more that happy to listen to you and encourage you if you want.

  29. rkr18 Volunteer


    Thank you for sharing your story of recovery and hope. You are a blessing and are a giver of hope for all of us. We love you too.


  30. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey carapressman!

    Thank you for sharing this with us. You’ve been through so much and made it this far, and that’s amazing! You are capable of incredible things. We’re glad that you’re here! Your heartfelt thoughts in this post were awesome to read. Congrats on this wonderful milestone! 🙂

  31. Breanna Volunteer

    Hey carapressman,

    Thanks for coming back to share this with us, and thank you for your kind words. We love and care about you too! And that sounds like a stressful, tumultuous journey, but I’m so glad to hear that things on the seizure front have been improving. I hope you can see and recognize the profound strength and persistence you have. I’ve heard so much about how physical health can impact mental help (and vice versa), and I hope the less stress on your body will help your mind. Keep going and keep your chin up!! You’re doing great, and how far you’ve come so far is something to be proud of!!

    Sending you love and support,

  32. Jess Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing part of your story with us. It sounds like it was a long road, but that’s so amazing that it’s been a year since your last brain surgery! I’m so glad that you shared your strength and kind words with us. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3

  33. Neesha Volunteer

    Congratulations on a year since you last surgery. It has been a rough road, and thank you for sharing some of it with us. As much as you have struggled I admire your strength to have fun and make the best of it. We are here for you and glad we’ve been of help.

  34. Nichole-SW94 Volunteer

    Hello Carapressman,

    Congrats and cheers to one year!!! This is a milestone and I am happy you have shared your story about your struggles. The past year sounds like it’s been quite a journey for you filled with hardships. But you are more than you can ever imagine to be. You have risen above these hardships and found a way to become grateful which is inspiring and beautiful. You give hope to those who are struggling during these dark days. But there is hope within yourself and in the friendly smiles of nurses and even the puppy licks from therapy dogs. Thank you for educating me more about Epilepsy and the struggles behind just the seizures. Your story is amazing and one I cherished reading. Your words are helping people so please continue to share your story and spread awareness and help people remember they are not alone. No you may not be cured but you seem to have journeyed miles on the road of recovery. We love you and thank YOU for what you do.

  35. rainedprieto Volunteer

    Your strength is just admirable, inspirational, amazing – everything! Thank you so much for sharing your story. It inspired me to be more grateful and positive, and I’m sure it’s done the same for others, too.

    Stay strong, sending hugs!

  36. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi carapressman,
    I’m glad you’re feeling better! It’s great that you had supportive nurses and therapy dogs to cheer you up. You’ve overcome a lot, and your perseverance is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us that we can get through!
    I’m glad that we’re able to help. We’re happy to be a part of your journey, and we’re here for you whenever you need us. You’ve got this!

  37. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear carapressman,
    Congratulations on your benchmark!! I imagine it feels amazing to have such a huge reduction in the number of seizures. Your story involves all aspects of your life that you want to share with us; it doesn’t only have to be about abuse. Thank you for sharing and inspiring others.
    Sending you love and strength,

  38. ryannlashea Volunteer

    Hi, thank you so much for trusting us with your story. I am so proud of you. You are strong and brave. Your positivity inspires me.

  39. smarti14 Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us all. It is so beautiful to see you help motivate others and stay positive after all the tough days you’ve been through. All your scars are a representation of how strong and tough you are. It is a map of all the obstacles you’ve accomplished! How beautiful. Thank you once again for sharing your story with us and motivating everyone else to keep fighting through no matter the situation in our lives. Stay well!

    Warm Regards,
    Suzy M.

  40. Starling Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. I’m glad that things seem to be improving with your epilepsy. It’s great that you keep a postive mindset and look on the brightside of everything. That’s a really great way to go about life. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  41. Hugo Volunteer

    Hey Carapressman,

    Thank you for sharing your story, it was such an inspirational message! You have gone through so much and all these obstacles have made you such a strong fighter and to never give up. Your positive outlook really inspires me, please hang on to it and keep pushing. Please continue to reach out to us, we will be here for you!
    Stay strong,


  42. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there Carapressman,

    You are so strong and have overcome so much. Please keep your positive outook on life, and know that we are here for you! I am so happy to hear about all you have perservered through. Stay strong!


  43. rachelb098 Volunteer

    Hi Capressman,

    You demonstrate incredible resilience and strength from how you were able to make the best out of your situation despite everything you were going through in the hospital. Thank you for sharing your medical journey with us as well as your inspirational and insightful words of encouragement. Stay strong!


  44. Rustin Volunteer

    Hi carapressman!
    I am so proud of how much you have overcome! This is incredible! Thank you for sharing and stay strong!

  45. Solongago Volunteer

    Hi Carapressman,

    Thank you for sharing your inspirational story. Life is a struggle. And you’ve had a lot to deal with. I am astounded by how positive your are, that shows your capacity to see the good in everything, which is so important, and yet so difficult for many of us. I’m sorry that you have this condition and have had to have so many procedures. They diagnosed my little sister with epilepsy — had a series of seizures as an infant, and then nothing until a late teenager. But when she was pregnant with her second child, they found that what was causing her to pass out was a valve in her heart. So, I don’t know if the original diagnosis has been removed. Evenso, I know that epilepsy is so hard. My mom’s cousin… Well that was back in the dark ages, it sounds like they do have a lot more tools to battle this now. I hope that the doctors can see your commitment to healing and it can inspire them too.

  46. hina.jawaid Volunteer

    Hey Cara,

    Thank you so much for showing all of us here that there are so many reasons to be thankful. You are a very strong girl. I am glad that even after going through so much pain you can still appreciate love and life. stay happy and strong.

    God bless you.

  47. Lex Volunteer

    Hi carapressman,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! You are such a fighter! You have been through so much and have shown so much courage and bravery through it all.

    Please come back anytime to share with us!

  48. jna0297 Volunteer

    Hello Carapressman,

    First off, thank you for sharing your story with us, we are here for you. I also want to say you are strong and you are a fighter, you have been through so much and have beaten it! Also thank you for trusting us with your story. Keep being the best you!

  49. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming to share with us. I am so sorry for all the health and medical struggles you have experienced, but glad you are with us to share your story of strength and hope. Come back to share any time.


  50. Jordan Volunteer

    Dear carapressman,

    I just want to thank you for finding our platform and being brave enough to share your story with the rest of us <3 You have been through so much and I am so happy to hear how far you have come throughout your journey. No matter what you are going through, we will always been an extension of love and support for you throughout the good times, and the bad. If you ever need anything, don't ever hesitate to reach out to us. You are truly a strong, brave, and courageous individual. Stay strong, sending love and hugs your way. <3 🙂

    – Jordan

  51. avahalliday Volunteer


    Thank you for sharing such positivity with us today! I am so sorry to hear about what you have been struggling with, but am amazed at your strength and determination to get through it all.

    You are an incredible example for everyone who is going through something difficult and I am so happy that you chose to celebrate that! Thank you for wanting to help others and continuing to share your stories with us all.

    We love you and are here for you always <3

  52. zelda Volunteer

    Cara, I’m happy to hear that you’re doing much better! Surgeries can be very stressful, and the recovery post-op can be challenging, painful, and exhausting. It’s a process.

    You have every right to acknowledge your hard work and to be proud of yourself. Thank you for giving us an update. Your stories help the community just as much as AVFTI helps us.

    Come back to share any time. You’re always welcome, and you will always have a place here.

  53. tbird830 Volunteer


    Thank you so much for sharing your story here. It is so helpful for everyone to hear others stories about getting through hard times, even if it’s not specifically an assault. You have been through a lot and overcame so much! Please continue to share your successes and hard times, it’s always good for us all to see the fluctuations that are so normal in life! You are a true survivor!


  54. Jay Volunteer

    Hi carapressman!

    We are so beyond proud of you for being a hardcore fighter! I couldn’t imagine going through half the things you go through and I see so much strength in you. Your life is changing for the better. You are a survivor! Not just from epilepsy but everything you are going through in your life. Please continue to reach out, we love hearing your success stories and even the bad ones because we know you will get through it. Keep fighting, we are always here for you!