Last spring, Benny Smith began having epileptic seizures. In his fifth-grade English class, he fell out of his chair and found he couldn’t move. It soon got so bad for the 11-year-old, in fact, that his falls even led to several concussions.
And when he’d wake up, he’d feel terrible, too — “a bit like a hangover,” Benny tells his mother, Christine Ristaino, on a recent visit to StoryCorps.
Just don’t ask him what a hangover feels like.
“You told it to me!” he tells her.
After a while, the situation made it unsafe for him to be at school. He spent much of the first half of this school year — sixth grade — being tutored at home. He returned to the classroom last month.