Text: Margot Granvik, Translation: Tony Carlyle
Scared to death, despairing, and totally exhausted after staying awake at night for years the mother finally chose to follow her intuition.
With diet, Reiki, and Homeopathy she cured her son from something doctors told was genetic and “incurable”.
From getting two serious epileptic diagnoses to having an EEG completely free of epileptic activity; Vendela Burton went against the doctor’s advice and rescued her son from possible life-long medication. At the age of three, he was supposed to take 1095 tablets and 7.7 litres of liquid medication a year, medicines that had no positive effect on him. So Vendela chose another course of treatment.
– It has been a tremendous battle! This is how Vendela Burton summarizes the years following the summer of 2012, the summer when her son, who had been extremely hyperactive during the preceding six months, also contracted epilepsy. It was a form of epilepsy that seldom manifested in visible seizures, and even then only in short episodes characterized by little nods, blinks and shakes. In the brain, however, constant epileptic activity had “kidnapped” the brain and affected her son in all possible ways.
Her son was diagnosed with CSWS syndrome.
“This type of epilepsy should be treated aggressively as there is constant epileptic activity in the brain. The non-stop activity, not the epileptic seizures, is what inflicts the most damage. If it is not treated it will seriously affect his health and development.”
This was the statement Vendela Burton received from her son’s medical physician. Then she was sent home with some medicine for her son to take.
When Vendela, frightened by the health care statement and much against her will, began to medicate her son he did not improve at all but got worse instead. A nightmare of frequent visits to the Emergency Ward followed, where Vendela Burton received no constructive response to her queries and protests.
The health care professionals prescribed another medicine. And another. And then another. Altogether Vendela Burton ended up give five different epileptic drugs for her son. In addition she was to administer anticonvulsant medication for seizures if they did not end on their own accord. Although, in practice it was not about GIVING but about finding ways to FORCE a hyperactive two-year-old to take five different medicines twice a day. He absolutely refused.
– I tried to get the health care centre to help me. How was I supposed to make him take the medicines in the first place? They told me it was very important that I made him take the medicine even if it meant I had to go to extremes. At times I had to almost sit on him in order to force the medicines down his throat, which then made both of us cry.
At the time her son got his diagnosis, Vendela Burton was in the late stages of pregnancy and was living in a difficult relationship. Even then she carried her two-year-old on her shoulders whenever he couldn’t walk because he was too tired or hyperactive and couldn’t function properly. Soon she was the lone parent of a baby and a seriously ill and hyperactive two year old.
– On every visit to the Emergency Ward they would increase the dosages. But the epileptic activity still didn’t go away. Every fresh EEG displayed new variations of the same earlier aggressive epileptic activity or even more activity.
– The epileptic medication made him sicker. With the first epileptic medication he began having drop attacks and other forms of seizures, sometimes several per hour, day and night. It became a 24/7 hell. He stopped eating and lost his sense of balance. His motor and language skills got affected. I woke up at night as he vomited on me in his sleep.
– Even his toenails changed. They looked like wavy slopes. When asked about them a doctor replied that it probably was genetic. It was the standard response to all my questions; everything was genetic.
– Every time I conferred with the epilepsy nurse or the neurologist, I tried to find out if it was reasonable to medicate him in such a way that only made him worse. They simply replied that according to their experience it was the only way to go with this type of epilepsy.
– I even posed questions about my suspicions of gluten and milk. I discussed mercury poisoning and vaccines. For months I went on about the mould in the apartment where we lived and how it could affect the situation. The doctor always replied that none of this could be the cause, even if the epileptic seizures had started soon after we had moved into the apartment, later found to be riddled with mould.
– His younger brother was born in that apartment, where he vomited until he was a year and a half and slept nearly around the clock, something no doctor was able to explain. There was nothing wrong with him, you see.
The apartment was decontaminated in autumn 2013 and Vendela Burton later heard from an expert on decontamination that the health of her sons could very well have been affected by the mould. The communication with the health care centre did not work out at all as Vendela Burton felt she needed. She did not get any satisfactory reply. Her main impression was of being set straight. She was also frightened by the information she got. When she received a certificate in the autumn of 2013 for applying for care allowance she suddenly noticed that her son had been given an additional diagnosis: Doose Syndrome.
– I asked the epilepsy nurse about this new diagnosis and she replied that she didn’t understand why the doctor had put it like that, as this was not the diagnosis that my son had been given previously. She had no clue as to why the attestation read like that.
– When I began looking into what Doose meant I came to know that it is a very serious diagnosis! Soon however I saw the connection between the side effects of the established medication and the symptoms that the new diagnosis was based on.
Not even at this point did Vendela Burton’s questions and protests meet with a proper response. What she did get was a helmet for protection in case of accidents from falls and seizures. It was put on her little boy’s head from morning to night every day.
Nights continued to be nightmares. When the son finally fell asleep, his sleep was restless. At any moment he would stand up to throw himself against the wall or out of the bed. Not one night passed without her being woken one or two or three times. Or more. Vendela got even more tired and began to rapidly lose weight.
– My son’s seizures were hardly audible and he barely moved even in large seizures. Therefore I quickly got used to waking up when his breathing changed, when he clenched his teeth, or when he dribbled.
Vendela Burton utilized every available waking moment to find answers. Most of her Googling was done at night under the bedcovers. Via the Internet she came in contact with other parents of children who had reacted to vaccinations. Much of what she learnt was familiar to her. She continued searching.
She even began to use Reiki healing, which she had learned from her practice back in Australia.
– In Australia, quality-assured Reiki healing is part of the conventional health care system. I am one of the few who are eligible for a Reiki 4 certificate.
– Earlier on my son had not allowed me to do it but now I was suddenly allowed to place my hand over his heart. I did it morning and evening and her son, who had never been able to lie still even for a second calmed down and took it all in. When I moved to remove my hand he grabbed it and held it in place.
This was at the end of the summer of 2013. The seizures stopped and Vendela could let her son stop using the helmet. The apartment was decontaminated and that was when the mould was found under the linoleum in both bedrooms. Despite the promise by the housing company they never found out what had caused the mould to build up under the linoleum.
Tired of pleading for help that she never received, in 2014 Vendela Burton began to focus instead on learning about things she needed to heal herself and her children. She trained both as a certified nutrition counselor and mindfulness instructor. Armed with such knowledge she removed gluten and milk from the family diet and made sure that her son had a gluten- and milk-free diet at the daycare centre.
At the same time she discovered Internet articles and reports on how homeopathic treatment had remedied negative reactions to vaccinations, and she received a tip about an accomplished local homeopath. She called but received a definite NO, in Sweden homeopaths are not allowed to treat children under 8 years of age, and they are never allowed to treat epilepsy. So what to do? Seek help abroad?
– I told the health care centre that I would be seeking homeopathic treatment abroad. They replied that they were in no position to stop me from doing that. Their knowledge of homeopathy was obviously very limited and they thought it had to do with naturopathy somehow.
– I contacted the same homeopath again. I begged for my son’s life. In the end I was allowed to come. I got up in the middle of the night, woke my son, carried him downstairs to the car and drove away. It was a long drive and I was dead tired on arrival. Chaos erupted at the clinic. He could not remain quiet but ran around and ripped and tore at everything. I was completely exhausted and could hardly think, speak and look after him at the same time.
But Vendela and her son returned home with homeopathic remedies.
– One time when he took a homeopathic remedy he got a strong reaction just like the homeopath had told me might happen.
Vendela Burton now began to phase out the epilepsy medicines. For a long time she had been questioning why her son should take them, as they did not cure the epileptic activity, which according to the health care professionals was the main purpose of giving them.
– I was so scared! But something drove me on. I began reducing the epilepsy medication. I totally went by intuition. In two weeks I had phased out the main medicine, the one with the worst side effects. Nothing happened and the seizures didn’t come back. He could sleep again. Instead of running around the bed for two hours before he could fall asleep he now went to sleep immediately. And he slept all night. The next thing that happened was that he started to eat.
She also received positive feedback from the daycare center.
– They immediately expressed that he had become happier and calmer. And they also reported that he had started eating.
When the time came for the next visit to the doctor, Vendela had completely phased out two of the five epilepsy medicines and halved the dosage of the third medicine.
– There sat the neurologist, ever so cocky and ready to scold me. He explained his view of my son’s diagnosis and how it should be treated. The next step according to him was cortisone injections and a ketogenic diet. When it was time for him to note the medical status I told him the truth. He then turned completely pale. And became very quiet.
– I told him that my son felt better and better the more I took away the medicines. I said that they had threatened that he would get worse but that was not the case at all. I also told that he had received homeopathic treatment and that I was treating him myself with diet and Reiki.
The neurologist advised Vendela to increase the medicine she had halved in order to protect the boy against major seizures, which in the worst case could damage the brain.
– I did that. But simultaneously I continued to phase out another medicine until the one that he had asked me to increase was the only one left. In the end I removed that one, too. Still he didn’t get worse.
Since July 7, 2014 Vendela Burton’s son hasn’t had any medication at all for epilepsy.
– On October 29, 2014 we had another EEG taken. It was completely clear.
There was no trace of any epileptic activity left either when awake or asleep.
– He still has a bit of the hyperactivity but not at all extreme. There are still some things left to be treated with homeopathic remedies. But the epilepsy has gone. And even his toenails are back to normal.
– He has made progress all summer. I remember the day when he drew a sun for the first time. We laughed, cried and hugged. And one morning he woke up and uttered a 13-word-long sentence. Previously at the speech therapist’s he had only spoken in sentences 3-4 words long.
In November 2014, Vendela Burton met her son’s doctor again.
– I drove in thinking he will say what a wonderful job I have done. But the doctor had the nerve to start off by indicating that it was their epilepsy medicines that had made my son well. Or that what had occurred was a spontaneous healing. I became furious: “Here I have worked myself almost to death, being so exhausted that I sometimes thought I was about to die. And you have the guts to claim that credit is all yours!” I scolded him.
Before I left his office, I turned in the doorway and asked the doctor how many years of training he had. He replied that he had been doing this for 25 years. I then said: “Listen, I’ve been Googling under the bedcovers for two years and it was ME who cured his epilepsy, not you.” Her anger betrays her tiredness when Vendela Burton talks.
– My son’s doctors and nurses are good people but they are stuck in the health care approach and their conventional allopathical training. They believe that what they are doing is right, and they are not allowed to think for themselves. But it is time for the health care system and the state to begin listening to people. We should have the right to seek the kind of help we believe is best for our children and ourselves.
Didn’t you ever worry that the health care centre would report you to the social services?
– No, I had been in contact with the social services from the time my son got sick from the first medicine and I was in desperate need of assistance. I was exhausted and in deep despair and asked them to organize some support for me to recover. But I did not receive any help that actually worked out.
– In the end, after years of hassle, I told the social services that they only sapped my energy, and I ended all contact with them. Before doing so, I announced that I was phasing out all medications and was treating him with diet, Reiki and homeopathy.
– Afterwards I have read the journals where I found that they contacted the health care centre and told the health care centre to report me if they thought I was damaging my son’s health by not giving him the medicines.
What made you able to stand up to the doctors and also risk getting into trouble with the social services?
– My intuition. It cannot be right that we give children a lot of poisonous substances, which both medicines and vaccinations actually are. Also, the doctor was frank enough to inform me that they would not be able to cure my son but only alleviate his epilepsy symptoms. But even after six medicines the symptoms did not improve. On the contrary, he only became sicker. The medicines gave him many new forms of seizures and affected his behaviour in many ways. It was a complete disaster.
– According to the health care centre, that was how the course of his disease would run according to the diagnoses he had been given. They said it was a form of intractable epilepsy that could possibly get lighter or disappear somehow at puberty, so in about ten years then. Imagine how damaged my son would have been if it had been allowed to go on for another ten years.
During her research Vendela Burton spent considerable time trying to acquire an understanding of what first started the hyperactivity and then the epilepsy.
– He was born healthy and normal. We lived in Australia then, where they vaccinate babies against rotavirus when they are two, four and six months old. When he was nine months he suffered from invagination, which involves part of the small intestine being pushed into the colon. That was a close call for him. Since, I have read that invagination is a side effect of rotavirus vaccination.
– When he was 12 months he got the MPR vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella. That was three months before we moved to Sweden. I believe the injections contributed to it. In Sweden, I ended up in a destructive relationship, which resulted in extreme stress for my son and me. The stress of that calibre can affect the entire immune system.
The stress was not made any easier by us being tossed about everywhere and the fact that no one wanted to take the responsibility for helping us out.
– It’s appalling that mothers are not listened to, that their knowledge of their own children isn’t recognized. It was only when I had become a nutrition counselor that they began to listen to what I had to say about gluten and milk.
– It’s absolutely insane that children under eight cannot be treated with homeopathy in Sweden. What do they want – parents to go abroad? How are we to judge the care we may get there? How can we pay for it? How are we to cope?
If the homeopath had not agreed to treat us, we wouldn’t be here today with a clear EEG. It’s time to change the Swedish legislation. The homeopath saved our lives, without the homeopathic treatment we would have perished. But for doing so the homeopath could have gone to jail. It’s a scandal!
Text: Margot Granvik
Translation: Tony Carlyle
To contact Vendela Burton please send an email to: email@example.com