The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


January 2, 2013

Student spends holiday break in hospital


Stopping the seizures

According to, a seizure is caused by abnormal brain signals. Nerve cells in the brain send electrical and chemical signals to each other on a regular basis and when a wayward electrical signal is sent, it can cause other brain cells to send unusual signals. If enough of these are sent, it will trigger a seizure.

“He had a couple of seizures (Monday) morning but they were short in duration and not real bad,” Stacey said. “They want to get him to go 48 hours without a seizure and it would’ve been 48 hours (Monday) afternoon.”

Stacey said doctors are currently altering his diet from PediaSure to a carbohydrate-free diet, which in some cases can help decrease seizures.

“They want to get his brain cooled off and see if they can get the seizures to stop,” he said. “They don’t believe it’s a virus at this point. Right now they believe the seizures were induced by the fever he had, and for some reason his body hasn’t been able to handle the reaction.”

Community fund

Stacey, who works full-time as a delivery driver for Papa John’s, has been unable to work since Robert was hospitalized two weeks ago, and his wife is a stay-at-home mother.

“The kids have mostly been staying with my parents and sometimes with my wife’s parents,” he said. “We had a little celebration Christmas Eve, but we’re just planning to put off Santa Claus until Robby gets home.”

To help defray medical expenses, friends of the Witherow family set up a community fund at the First National Bank locations in Athens and Ardmore. Within four business days, the fund had reached $750, according to bank officials.

For more information, contact First National Bank at 256-216-6373.


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