Pat was diagnosed with epilepsy and having partial complex seizures at the age of 11. Most people throughout his high school, college, and later years probably did not know he had epilepsy as it was not something he often talked about. Even though the heavy doses of medication made him lethargic and he required a lot of sleep, he did not let his seizures stop him from leading a full and normal life.
He was an avid Bruce Springsteen and Phillies fan and loved fishing with his brother, bowling and spending time with his friends and family. He had worked at W. B. Mason for 6 years and had recently been promoted to Customer Service Training Supervisor. He proposed to the love of his life, Tara, right before Christmas 2013. They had booked their wedding for November of 2014, for which he was very excited for and involved in the planning of.
Pat was on top of the world – happier than he had ever been with a world of possibilities and a bright future ahead of him, until epilepsy took his life away so suddenly at the age of 29 on Thursday, February 6th, 2014. No doctor over the course of 16 years EVER mentioned that he could die from a seizure.
He was found unresponsive and alone on the floor in a conference room at his work, where he had just finished conducting a training webinar. His coworkers immediately called 911 and began CPR but the attempts were not successful. We believe he died prior to getting in the ambulance. Upon his parents’ arrival at the hospital, his family asked the ER doctor if he had a seizure and the doctor replied “no, you don’t die from a seizure.” His family left the hospital not having any idea how he had died. The following day, the coroner informed his family that she believes he may be a case of SUDEP. SUDEP? What is SUDEP?!
The barrage of online searches for information about SUDEP opened up a world we previously knew nothing about and blew our minds away. Many young people were losing their lives to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy and the majority of their loved ones had never heard of it prior to their death. The anger and frustration that followed this earth shattering news fueled the creation of The Patrick Ring Foundation – something positive had to come out of something so senseless. Pat was always helping others with his kind and caring nature and always thought of others before himself. We hope to follow in his footsteps and help those who are affected by epilepsy.
The Patrick Ring Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness about epilepsy (a condition that 1 in 26 people will suffer from in their lifetime), and the impact seizures can have on the individual and his/her family. More specifically, The Patrick Ring Foundation strives to raise awareness of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy).
Patrick felt a huge amount of pride in his work and loved teaching others. By doing so, he instilled in those he taught how to better understand and utilize the knowledge that they had. By forming The Patrick Ring Foundation in his honor, we hope to do what Patrick did best – teach. We hope to create awareness by educating others about epilepsy and SUDEP and to draw the attention to these conditions that they deserve.
Our goal is simple: spread the awareness of Epilepsy and SUDEP.