Our Visit to Bethel Hospital, Germany — May 2010
Conversation of Larry and Annette Roof with Dr. Alois Ebner, MD, Psychologist, Neurologist Head of Bethel Epilepsy Centre – Bethel, Germany
May 6, 2010
We had been on the road several hours longer than we anticipated, traveling from Hanover... finally the long awaited “Bethel” sign. We searched for a building where we might ask directions to the hospital. At our first stop, we were given a map of Bethel and proceeded to the impressive new Bethel Hospital. Upon entering, we approached three receptionists, one spoke English. After a brief introduction, we were asked to wait while an associate fluent in English was called. Dr. Alois Ebner’s associate appeared and we followed to a waiting room. After a few minutes, we were ushered into Dr. Ebners office and introduced.
L Roof: Thank you for finding time in your busy schedule to speak with us. We have traveled from the United States to Bethel because we have three children with Epilepsy and we have discovered a procedure for stopping seizures during the aura stage.
Dr Ebner: What were your children’s diagnosis?
A Roof: My daughter and Larry’s twin sons had traumatic birth experiences leaving them with mental retardation, autism and epilepsy. Actually our daughter was being treated with strong medications to stop seizures such as DepakoteER, but she always had breakthrough seizures. Eventually the medications destroyed her stomach and pancreas. Rainey died one year ago.
L Roof: If I could just add something here? She had been evaluated at Duke University Hospital many times for potential surgery to relieve her seizures, but they could never isolate the source of the seizures in her brain. Using our procedure on the twins and Rainey we were able to stop 99% of their breakthrough seizures.
Dr Ebner: It is astonishing that you have traveled all this distance to bring us information.
L Roof: We wanted the procedure to be introduced here in Bethel with your long tradition, experience and expertise in the care and treatment of persons with Epilepsy.
A Roof: Dr. Ebner, this is a print of our website, www.RaineysGift.info
L Roof: Our procedure is basically massaging both sides of the face vigorously with open palms of the hands in circular motions. The procedure has stopped our children’s breakthrough seizures almost 100%
Dr Ebner: We have been teaching self seizure intervention here at Bethel now for years. We have done clinical studies to determine statistically the difference in number of seizures before self intervention and after seizure interventions were implemented. The reduction in seizures is quite significant.
L Roof: How does a person self intervene?
Dr Ebner: For our patients that can understand how to do self intervention, we counsel them that when they feel a seizure starting, to distract the brain by rubbing their arms, clinching their fists, thinking beautiful pleasant thoughts. We find what works best for each person.
A Roof: We are amazed at Bethel’s one hundred fifty years of tradition. This must be a very large campus...how did it start?
Dr Ebner: It started as a farm.
A Roof: We saw the horses on the way in.
Dr Ebner: At any given time we have about 4,000 people here. Some have severe epilepsy, but most can be treated and some live here participating in meaningful work programs. Our patients are involved in a wide variety of counseling, treatments, therapies, surgeries for Epilepsy and other mental disorders.
A Roof: This has been our privilege to be on the campus of this prestigious Epilepsy treatment and research center.
Dr Ebner: You have given us information we did not have. We did not realize that caregivers could intervene in seizures.
I will call a staff meeting Monday to discuss your information with my staff.
L Roof: Again, thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to talk with us.
A Roof: Thank you so much, Dr. Ebner.
Being at Bethel had been a dream for Larry. He first learned of Bethel in 1972 during a PBS program featuring Malcomb Muggeridge, well known British theologian/ philosopher, describing Bethel as the only mental illness facility in Germany that Hitler left untouched in his efforts to exterminate useless people. It was said Hitler reconsidered his plans when he was told that “these people are so loved by so many”...harming them could be risky for the Third Reich.
Modern Germany is precise, organized and focused on quality, from the famous autobahn highways to the architecture, furniture, landscaping, etc., but we focused especially on the treatment that Bethel, Germany has so graciously provided for “differently abled” persons. That graciousness was evident even in our conversation with Dr. Alois Ebner. Annette said over and over, “It’s hard to keep from crying, being here where all these amazing things have happened for all these years.” This is like hallowed ground.
Now looking back on our meeting with Dr. Ebner, we believe our procedure may actually be a universal non medical seizure intervention. Further clinical studies beyond Bethel’s self intervention studies are needed, plus studies to determine whether the “fight or flight” aspect of seizure intervention is a primary resource for further medical and non medical research.
The end result of our visit to Bethel is that now all 50 million persons with Epilepsy throughout the world now have access to “non medical seizure intervention”... whether self intervention or caregiver intervention. The number of seizures will be significantly reduced, improving the quality of life, even extending the length of life. Visit www.RaineysGift.info for information on caregiver seizure intervention or work with your doctor or therapist or schedule a trip to Bethel to develop your own personal self seizure intervention.
Warning: “Non Medical Seizure Intervention” is a supplementary to your medications and any other therapies designated or prescribed by your medical doctor. Do not make any changes to your doctors directions or prescriptions or make any changes to your life style that could be dangerous, such as driving an automobile, based on the use of non medical seizure intervention procedures and techniques.