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mayoclinic (@mayoclinic) published a blog post · July 23rd, 2013

Overcoming Epilepsy

Rachel Skaug pictured four days after my surgery in 1998 and a current picture of her in good health.

Rachel Skaug pictured four days after my surgery in 1998 and a current picture of her in good health


My name is Rachel Skaug, formerly Rachel Kaalberg, and I used to have seizures as a child. My seizures started in 1988, when I was just at 4 months old and lasted until I was 10 years old in 1998.

I am from Madison, WI but much of my testing happened at the Mayo Clinic -Rochester, MN. I had many tests such as EEGs, and the nurses were great.

I tried many medications and did try the Ketogenic Diet which both didn't seem to work for me 100 percent. Therefore, as a last resort, I had not one but five surgeries between August 1997 - June 1998 even though I do not remember them all. The last surgery in June 1998 was the miracle that helped stop my seizures. The doctor that I remember the most is Dr. Zupanc and my surgeon was Dr. Raffel. During the last surgery, they took a 50-cent size piece of my right temporal lobe out which seemed to stop my seizures, today I have been seizure free for 15 years and still going strong.

After my surgeries, the doctors diagnosed me with Tuberous Sclerosis. I do have a few issues with comprehension such as remembering what I read, but I work hard to remember things in picture format to understand what I read.

I am now currently 24 almost 25 years of age and expecting a baby in October. My experience at the Mayo Clinic was tremendous and all the doctors and nurses that worked with me were great in helping me beat Epilepsy.

Related Departments

Related Diseases

EEG Epilepsy Neurology & Neurosurgery Rachel Skaug recovery Rochester seizures surgery Tuberous Sclerosis


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laura (@laura1961) · Wed, Mar 19 at 5:46am CDT · #

I have emailed your appointments contact three times asking if you use stem cell treatment for Complex Parcial Seizures but nobody can answer that question. Does Mayo Clinic do this treatment ? it does not look like it does from what I have just been reading. If you are not using this treatment then why. I have come across another hospital that works out of 3 states that seems to use it, but I don't know how successful it is.

Stacy Theobald (@stacytheobald) · Mon, Mar 24 at 3:53pm CDT · #

Hi Laura, Yes, our Neurology department does see patients with complex parcial seizures/secondarily generalized seizures. Here is some information about a recent study that was done. If you would like to make an appointment please contact the appointment office at 507-284-2111. Thank you.