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David Crockett’s Lily Ayers finally gets her graduation day

By COLLIN BROOKS

Staff Writer

[email protected]

It wasn’t quite the graduation that David Crockett’s Lily Ayers expected on Thursday, June 2, during a Washington County Board of Education meeting, but it sure made up for the memory of what was suppose to be her graduation day.Lily Ayers

“I just thought it was really cool and a blessing that they would let me even do that,” Ayers said. “I think when you go through your four years like that, that is all that you wish to do is enjoy that day with all of your friends that you made, but I didn’t really get to experience that.”

Yet many of those friends were there to cheer for Ayers Thursday as her named was announced by Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes.

A certain level of excitement greeted Ayers during what was supposed to be her graduation day on Saturday, May 21. But excitement was normal for Ayers. It always popped up before her softball and basketball games that she played during her four years as a Lady Pioneer.

So she wasn’t surprised when she felt it as she prepared to head to the high school. It was the end of a four-year journey that she had been working toward.

Ayers and her family got in the car to go to graduation. Then, almost three minutes away from the school, Ayers said that her mom noticed her tensing up and then going into a full seizure for almost two minutes.

“I remember nothing about it,” Ayers said. “I don’t remember buckling up in the car or anything like that. I remember getting in the ambulance and then getting to the hospital.”

That trip to the emergency room was when she learned that she had Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. JME is a form of epilepsy that starts in childhood or adolescence and is among the most common forms of epilepsy. One of every 14 people with epilepsy has JME.

But Ayers and her family believe that this wasn’t her first experience with a seizure. While she was packing for a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, with the basketball team in December,  Ayers recalls passing out while packing her suitcase. Her mother found her in the room when she was coming to, but with no one in the room to see what really happened.

“Nobody knows if I had a seizure then, but my mom said that I looked the exact same as I looked then,” Ayers said. “So that leads them to believe that the one before graduation was probably my second time, but they’d only seen one.”

Now there are a few precautions that Ayers has to take, which includes taking a medication two times a day for the rest of her life.

“He basically told me that I have to stay on the straight and narrow path and that I can’t do things that people that don’t have epilepsy do,” Ayers said.

That includes not being able to drive for six months — which could reset if she were to have another episode.

She also has to make sure to eat three meals a day and make sure that she gets ample rest.

Ayers is still on track to fulfill her scholarship to Roane State Community College for softball and she said that the coaches and players have been supportive throughout the last couple of weeks.

“They are completely okay with it,” Ayers said. “They know a girl that is in the conference that has a similar disorder, so they understand the procedures if I were to have a seizure. So they are all good with it.”

All of the added adversity isn’t something that Ayers expected, but it is something that she thinks she will be able to overcome.

“There is a whole lot of adversity in sports, but I think that there is more to an athlete than how they really are,” Ayers said. “You don’t know their battles that nobody else sees.

“God only gives you the hand that you are dealt because he knows that you are capable of dealing with it. Everything happens for a reason and he let me miss graduation, because I’d rather have (a seizure) happen now than later.”

It also helped Ayers see all the support that she had for her with the numerous people that reached out to her to make sure that she was okay.

“I have felt support before from my family and friends, but that day I felt a whole lot more than I ever expected.”

It wasn’t quite the graduation that David Crockett’s Lily Ayers expected on Thursday, June 2, during a Washington County Board of Education meeting, but it sure made up for the memory of what was suppose to be her graduation day.

“I just thought it was really cool and a blessing that they would let me even do that,” Ayers said. “I think when you go through your four years like that, that is all that you wish to do is enjoy that day with all of your friends that you made, but I didn’t really get to experience that.”

Yet many of those friends were there to cheer for Ayers Thursday as her named was announced by Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes.

A certain level of excitement greeted Ayers during what was supposed to be her graduation day on Saturday, May 21. But excitement was normal for Ayers. It always popped up before her softball and basketball games that she played during her four years as a Lady Pioneer.

So she wasn’t surprised when she felt it as she prepared to head to the high school. It was the end of a four-year journey that she had been working toward.

Ayers and her family got in the car to go to graduation. Then, almost three minutes away from the school, Ayers said that her mom noticed her tensing up and then going into a full seizure for almost two minutes.

“I remember nothing about it,” Ayers said. “I don’t remember buckling up in the car or anything like that. I remember getting in the ambulance and then getting to the hospital.”

That trip to the emergency room was when she learned that she had Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. JME is a form of epilepsy that starts in childhood or adolescence and is among the most common forms of epilepsy. One of every 14 people with epilepsy has JME.

But Ayers and her family believe that this wasn’t her first experience with a seizure. While she was packing for a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, with the basketball team in December,  Ayers recalls passing out while packing her suitcase. Her mother found her in the room when she was coming to, but with no one in the room to see what really happened.

“Nobody knows if I had a seizure then, but my mom said that I looked the exact same as I looked then,” Ayers said. “So that leads them to believe that the one before graduation was probably my second time, but they’d only seen one.”

Now there are a few precautions that Ayers has to take, which includes taking a medication two times a day for the rest of her life.

“He basically told me that I have to stay on the straight and narrow path and that I can’t do things that people that don’t have epilepsy do,” Ayers said.

That includes not being able to drive for six months — which could reset if she were to have another episode.

She also has to make sure to eat three meals a day and make sure that she gets ample rest.

Ayers is still on track to fulfill her scholarship to Roane State Community College for softball and she said that the coaches and players have been supportive throughout the last couple of weeks.

“They are completely okay with it,” Ayers said. “They know a girl that is in the conference that has a similar disorder, so they understand the procedures if I were to have a seizure. So they are all good with it.”

All of the added adversity isn’t something that Ayers expected, but it is something that she thinks she will be able to overcome.

“There is a whole lot of adversity in sports, but I think that there is more to an athlete than how they really are,” Ayers said. “You don’t know their battles that nobody else sees.

“God only gives you the hand that you are dealt because he knows that you are capable of dealing with it. Everything happens for a reason and he let me miss graduation, because I’d rather have (a seizure) happen now than later.”

It also helped Ayers see all the support that she had for her with the numerous people that reached out to her to make sure that she was okay.

“I have felt support before from my family and friends, but that day I felt a whole lot more than I ever expected.”