When fifteen year old McKenzie Norton gets home from school, she gets a hug and a kiss from her mother Teresa. Teresa has a vested interest in the seizure medication study because McKenzie has suffered from seizures since she was an infant. Currently, she's suffering as many as four a week, sometimes two a day.
Teresa says Jett Travolta's death hit uncomfortably close to home."Well, I felt for the family because that could be us," she says.
Over the years, McKenzie has been rushed to the emergency room twice after suffering prolonged seizures.
"December, January, for some reason her seizures peak," says Teresa. "In fact, it was almost a year, two years ago she was in the hospital getting one of those drugs, actually both of those drugs," she says.
One drug is FDA approved Diazepam which is used in both adults and children.
The other drug is Lorazepam, which is not approved for kids under eighteen. Dr. Pam Okada and a team of doctors will see which drug works best and has fewer complications. She says the results could be lifesaving.
"There is a mortality rate of up to four percent, so four out of a hundred children can die from consequences of prolonged seizures and so we feel it's very important to treat it right away."
Teresa says McKenzie has tried five different drugs. McKenzie is also developmentally challenged and often communicates with a device that lights up by pushing a button. One time she had to push the button that that illustrates she was having a seizure. Teresa knows what she'll call any drug that can stop a seizure in it's tracks.
"That would be a miracle pill, because we still don't know why my child, my daughter has seizures, so if you don't know why, i mean we can only hope my doctors and i that we are making the right decisions."