Katie's Story More Stories

More Epilepsy Stories

2015 Feature Story – Sergeant Rob Jamieson

This is my story.

In 1995 I joined the Ontario Provincial Police and was stationed at Dutton Detachment in Southwestern Ontario. In November 1996 I went into work for my regularly scheduled dayshift and remember feeling somewhat confused. I sat down and later woke with what I know now are post-seizure symptoms; confusion, fatigue, my tongue bitten through, and feeling somewhat emotional. Not knowing what had occurred, I went home and continued on with life. On February 22 1997 I had my first witnessed tonic clonic seizure to which I remember waking up with Paramedics surrounding me. I had bitten through my tongue again, I was confused, and I was extremely disoriented and fatigued. While the symptoms were the same, my life was about to permanently change.

I was then off work for a few days, underwent a Catscan, an EEG, strobe testing, and met with Neurologists and Epileptologists at London Victoria Street South Hospital and University Hospital in London. It was a concerning time in my life, but I found solace after I contacted Epilepsy London and Area who provided me information and guidance. I also received great support from my family, friends, and colleagues. As a result of having this seizure, I lost my driver's licence for 5 months and worked foot patrol in Grand Bend. I received excellent support from the Ontario Provincial Police which allowed me to continue in my duties as a front line police officer, an officer who was now diagnosed with Adult onset Epilepsy.

I went 2 years seizure free and in December 1999 I had another tonic clonic seizure. Fortunately, it was at home and not in the course of my duties and/or while driving a motor vehicle. Once again, I felt the same post-seizure symptoms and knew that I had another seizure. I went to the hospital even though I knew that reporting my condition would result in the instant loss of my driver's licence. I knew that this hardship was secondary to my overall health and the safety of those around me.

I went to the hospital and in the course of this visit underwent an EEG, strobe testing, and came under the care of an Epileptologist. I was off work for 3 months and commenced taking Dilantin in an effort to control my seizures. This drug was very challenging for me as it was ineffective. I continued to have tonic clonic seizures and was feeling generally unwell. I was concerned for my health and questioned whether I would be able to continue in my career as a member of the OPP.

In April 2000 I switched to Epival. The initial doses of Epival were quite significant which allowed me to obtain effective seizure control. I was grateful for the control this medication gave me, however, the side effects of increase of appetite, weight gain, and clarity of thought, were challenging. I returned to work, away from front line policing duties, working in major crime while also working with my Epileptologist in regulating the amounts of Epival required to remain seizure free.

I remained on Epival and seizure free until November 2004 when I was found lying on the floor at the hockey arena by an employee. I woke up with paramedics around me and was admitted to the hospital again. I had had another tonic clonic seizure. Following this seizure I had another EEG, strobe test, and I lost my driver's licence for a year. This time was different because I thought this would never happen again. What didn't change was the support I received from family, friends, and work. After resuming my policing duties as a Detective in the Crime Unit I wanted to give back to the Epilepsy Community. I was now living in Barrie, Ontario and joined Epilepsy Simcoe County and Area as a member of the Board of Directors.

I have been seizure free since 2004. I continue to take Epival and realize that I am fortunate to be able to control my disorder through medication. I am now married to Lea and we have two beautiful daughters, Josselyn and Eva. I just completed my term as President of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University and am the Sergeant in charge of the Leadership Coaching Program at the Provincial Police Academy.

I credit my personal and professional success to the support I have received from loved ones, friends and the Ontario Provincial Police. I am also determined to accomplish whatever goals I set for myself while bringing awareness and understanding to this invisible disability—a key factor in overcoming obstacles, barriers, and attitudes.

Sergeant Rob Jamieson
Barrie, Ontario

Donate Now

Back to Top



Contact us at info@katiesrun.ca