Saturday, April 16, 2011

Zac's Journey

My name is Courtney Moore. I'm Zac's aunt. The purpose of this blog is to spread the word about my 9 year old nephew Zac's illness and Sieze a Cure for Zac which is a benefit that is scheduled for June 18th,2011 in his hometown of Thomaston, GA.
3 1/2 years ago while on the phone with my sister, one of the most horrible things happened. She was driving home, and said, "I have to go. Zac's having a seizure". From those words I waited for the longest 20 minutes of my life. I sat with my husband Amos, and at the time, my two children hoping for the best and fearing the worst. That first seizure led to a 2 week stay in ICU, and was the begining of Zac's journey with this illness.
They went 3 years with NO answers. Three years of hospitals, doctors,and seizures... with no answers. He went through EVERY medication approved for his age with little success. He was regularly having seizures. Zac was eventually referred to a neurosurgeon. He was entered into a surgery candidacy study. After 8 months of tests and monitoring Zac was officially diagnose with... Pharmacoresistant complex partial seizures non-operable. In plain english he had seizures from both parts of his brain, not involving his whole brain, that can't be completly controlled by medication that they felt were in-operable. Whew!
So, at that point they were stuck. As time went on his seizure activity increased and he started to develop new symptoms. A few months later they were back in Augusta for a 3rd video EEG study with hopes that they could determine which side of his brain had the most seizure activity. The good news was that 2 of the 3 video EEG's showed that the left side had more activity. The problem was that his speech could be affected if they decided to opperate. What was next? More tests of course. He had an MRI in Feb of this year with hopes that it would pinpoint his speech center, but it was inconclusive. His parents were expecting to undergo more minimally invasive procedures if the MRI didn't give them any answers, but that was not the case. Given many factors including his age and test results, the doctors suggested Intracranial EEG monitoring. Yep, actually putting electrodes on his brain to try and pinpoint seizure activity to be able to do surgery. The crazy thing is that this is a surgery in itself. The good news is that if they can pinpoint things then they can operate when the leads are removed. His parents have thought and prayed very hard about this procedure and decided that it is the best option for Zac. It will come with many sacrafices and risks. A long 1-3 week hospital stay 3 hours away from home followed by a possible 3 month post-op recovery. There are no guarantees. Memory and his peripheral vision could be affected. As of right now the procedure is going to be late summer of this year.
I can't tell you how much I admire my sister Casey, her husband DeWayne, and Zac Man for their courage. Their everyday lives have been turned upside down. My sister will be homeschooling Zac after this year, and they will go from two incomes to one. As a mother of three myself, it is everyday peace of mind that I hope to give back to them. There will be a benefit for Zac on June 18, 2011 in Thomaston, GA. As of right now, there will be a poker run, bike ride, 5k, auction, live music, kid zone with many activities for the children, BBQ plates for sale, vendors, and much more. I will be posting much more information about the benefit "Seize a cure for Zac" in the coming weeks. In the mean time, feel free to donate to "Benefit for Zac Shumate" at any United Bank branch. Help me find a cure for my nephew. Spread the word, stay tuned, and until nextime.... Count Your Blessings.

-Zac's Aunt Court


  1. Sissy, I'm in tears. I don't know if I am going to truly be able to follow this blog! Oh my gosh...reading it just puts everything into perspective. We're so used to this being our life that sometimes we don't even know anything is wrong. Thank you for doing this. We love you more than words!

  2. Courtney this is an amazing thing you are doing! You are an awesome sister and I know Casey feels blessed to have you by her side! I truly hope all goes well. Noone especially a child should have to go through what zac has! If their is anything I can do to help just let me know! Im Praying for your whole family!

  3. Sorry I was signed in as business, Sadina Jones posted above comment!